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It was only two points, but they were the loudest two points of the Garden night.
As the Knicks made their fourth-quarter runaway, Alec Burks saw Knicks rookie lottery pick Obi Toppin flying downcourt on the fast break and fed him with a deep alley-oop lob. Toppin timed it perfectly, rose and slammed it through with force to lift the Knicks to a six-point lead.
Toppin ran back downcourt, arms pumping, body jumping, inciting the decibel level even higher. And then suddenly came the chants of “O-bi, O-bi, O-bi’’ to highlight the Garden din.
It was the sweetest moment in a sometimes rocky rookie season for Toppin, selected with the No. 8 pick in November but seeing limited playing time as a backup to Julius Randle.
His mother Roni, out of Brooklyn and Westchester, was seen weeping in the Garden crowd.
The Dayton highflyer finished with eight points, drilling a 3-pointer as part of his 11:39 of action, and three rebounds. His ability to hold his own on the defensive end has been huge in this series as Randle hasn’t found his full footing.
Before the series, the Knicks coaching staff mulled whether to reduce Toppin’s minutes for defensive reasons, feeling it might be too much too soon against the rugged Hawks.
Game 2 was one of the few times Toppin had outplayed fellow rookie Immanuel Quickley, the 25th pick.
“Obi played very well,’’ Tom Thibodeau said after the Knicks’ 101-92 Game 2 win over the Hawks. “Quick didn’t shoot well. Overall, he and Quick are giving us a lot for two rookies to be playing in these playoffs, doing what they’re doing. I’m very pleased with them. There’s a big upside to both guys. They’ve been terrific since they got here.’’
Roni Toppin has been to almost every single game and traveled on the road. On Christmas Day, before fans were allowed inside the Garden, Roni told The Post she’d get a job as a janitor to see her son play live at the Garden.
She’s finally getting her chance and clearly savoring the moment.
Frank Ntilikina, beaten on the final play in Game 1, did not play Wednesday.
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