Crawford scores 43 as Knicks win

Knicks 103, Toronto 99
February 22, 2008 7:22:42 PM PST
Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 43 points, leading the New York Knicks to a 103-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night in the opener of a home-and-home series.Zach Randolph added 26 points and 15 rebounds, and made a layup with the Knicks clinging to a two-point lead with 40 seconds remaining. He missed two free throws seconds later, and Toronto cut it back to two on Anthony Parker's follow with 4.9 seconds left.

But Nate Robinson made four free throws from there to help New York hold on.

Crawford finished 15-of-29 from the field and made six 3-pointers. The teams meet again Sunday night in Toronto.

Chris Bosh scored 23 points for the Raptors, who had won two in a row. Carlos Delfino added 11 of his 18 in the fourth, nearly helping Toronto overcome a 10-point deficit. Parker also had 18 and Jamario Moon 16.

The Knicks were coming off a 124-84 loss Wednesday in Philadelphia, their second by 40 or more points this season. They looked headed for another blowout early, managing only 12 points in the first 14-plus minutes and falling behind by as many as 14.

Then Crawford, one of the NBA's streakiest shooters, got into a zone from outside - one Toronto has seen before. Crawford had a 50-point game against the Raptors on April 11, 2004, while playing for Chicago.

The Knicks shot 5-of-21 in the first quarter and trailed 21-12, their worst opening period of the season. They followed with a season-best 40 in the second, fueled by Crawford's 21, and cut it to 53-52 at halftime when Randolph beat the buzzer from just inside midcourt.

Crawford's floater with 0.2 seconds remaining in the third quarter sent the Knicks to the final period with an 81-75 lead.

Knicks starting center Eddy Curry played only 9½ minutes, none after the first quarter.