Knicks snap 7-game skid

Beat Miami Heat
March 12, 2008 7:31:00 PM PDT
Jamal Crawford scored 23 points, and the New York Knicks wasted most of a 14-point fourth-quarter lead before beating the Miami Heat 91-88 on Wednesday night and snapping a seven-game losing streak. Jamal Crawford scored 23 points, and the New York Knicks wasted most of a 14-point fourth-quarter lead before beating the Miami Heat 91-88 on Wednesday night and snapping a seven-game losing streak.

Zach Randolph had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Nate Robinson scored 17 points for New York, which won on the one-year anniversary of the Knicks announcing that coach Isiah Thomas earned a contract extension because the team had shown "evident progress."

The Knicks are 23-61 since.

Still, that's light years better than the Heat, who lost for the 33rd time in 36 games and extended the NBA's worst record to 11-52. Ricky Davis led Miami with 27 points, Shawn Marion added 15 points and 17 rebounds and the Heat raced out to a 14-2 lead, but that slipped away by the time the first quarter was over.

And with Miami again only having eight players to choose from, the Knicks steadily pulled away in the second half.

Fred Jones hit a 3-pointer on the first possession after halftime, putting New York ahead by one, and the Knicks stretched the margin to 79-65 when Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 9:58 remaining.

Even though it seemed like the majority of those in the building were pulling for the Knicks, Miami wasn't finished.

Chris Quinn hit a 3-pointer with 8:19 left, added a 20-footer on the next Heat possession, and suddenly, Miami was on its way to what became an 11-0 run. Bobby Jones - signed to a 10-day contract earlier Wednesday and playing for his fourth NBA team since Dec. 26 - scored on a putback, and Mark Blount's jumper with 4:34 to play drew the Heat within 81-79.

But Crawford ended the Knicks' 4½-minute drought with another 3-pointer with 4:09 left, restoring a five-point cushion for New York. And that wound up being enough, even though the Knicks shot 28 percent (5-for-18) in the final quarter.

After Crawford's dagger, Miami managed only two points in the next four minutes, missing six straight shots in the process.

Just when it seemed over, it wasn't.

Robinson made two free throws to give the Knicks a 90-83 lead, but Jason Williams made a 3-pointer, the Heat forced a turnover and Davis made two free throws with 9.5 seconds left, getting Miami within 90-88.

Crawford hit one of two free throws, and the Heat didn't have a time-out to advance the ball. Williams' 3-pointer with 2 seconds left was short, and the Knicks left happy.

Williams finished with 15 points and Blount had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Miami. Fred Jones scored 12 for the Knicks.

And now, Heat coach Pat Riley will resume his college tour.

He leaves Thursday for a three-day trip to several major college basketball tournaments, including the Big 12, where he'll see Kansas State forward Michael Beasley, the presumptive No. 1 pick assuming the freshman, as widely expected, enters this year's draft.

Riley, who earlier this week saw Indiana's Eric Gordon - another would-be lottery pick if he leaves after one college season - expects to be back in Miami for the Heat game with the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday evening.

Assistant coach Ron Rothstein will coach the Heat when they face the Orlando Magic on Friday night.


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