ATLANTA — Quentin Grimes, who has started every game for the Knicks this season, suffered a “bruised hand” in the beginning of the fourth quarter Wednesday and Tom Thibodeau said he was unaware of the severity or whether there were X-rays taken.
“I’m not sure yet,” the coach said after the Knicks edged the Hawks, 116-114. “I haven’t talked to the trainers.”
The results of the tests will be important, and the pain was bad enough for Grimes to make a beeline from the court to the tunnel with about 11 minutes remaining. He never returned to the bench and wasn’t in the locker room postgame.
“It’s very tough and that’s unfortunate, but we have a next-man-up mentality,” Jalen Brunson said. “Guys step up but as a team, and we had to step up together. We have a lot of great players on this team that can do a lot of great things. Obviously we want Quentin to come back when he’s healthy, when he’s ready, whatever goes on, but I think for us we all know what we have to do.”
The Knicks were already playing without RJ Barrett, who missed his second straight contest with an “illness/migraine,” according to the injury report. Thibodeau reiterated that his small forward is “day-to-day” but hasn’t practiced, although he traveled to the arena Wednesday. The coach said he didn’t know what sparked the illness or anything else about it.
“If I did, I’d be a doctor. But I don’t know,” Thibodeau said. “He’s under the weather.”
The Knicks are now 1-3 without Barrett.
He had missed two games earlier in the season with knee soreness, which he acknowledged would require further maintenance.
Julius Randle had a strategy for his teammate down the stretch: attack Trae Young.
Immanuel Quickley obliged by scoring half of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.
“He had Trae Young on him. When he has that matchup, he needs to be aggressive,” Randle said. “That’s exactly what he did. He came out, he was aggressive and I think that’s really what turned the game for us. Him coming out being aggressive propelled us and gave us the momentum we needed down the stretch.”
Young, who finished with 17 assists, is known as a weak defender.
Jericho Sims picked up a Hall of Fame friend in Utah.
The soft-spoken backup Knicks forward told The Post that he and Dominique Wilkins met up during All-Star Weekend last season and went to dinner.
The two were again chatting before Wednesday’s game.
Wilkins works with the Hawks as a TV analyst.
“He’s actually one of my brother’s favorite player,” Sims said. “I grew up watching his highlights.”
Sims participated in last season’s Slam Dunk contest, with Wilkins as one of the judges.
Sims was eliminated after two dunks.
Wilkins won the 1985 and 1990 Slam Dunk contests but fell to Michael Jordan in 1988, arguably the most famous head-to-head in the competition’s history.
Many people, including Sims, thought Wilkins was the winner.
“Got robbed,” Sims said.