Chandler leads the Knicks over the Nets

October 20, 2008 7:17:23 PM PDT
Wilson Chandler scored 22 points in his first start of the preseason, leading the New York Knicks to a 114-106 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Monday night. Looking increasingly comfortable running new coach Mike D'Antoni's system, the Knicks shot 50 percent in their second straight exhibition victory. They were especially sharp in the latter stages of the first and third quarters, when Nate Robinson and Stephon Marbury came off the bench to play with Chandler.

Robinson led the Knicks with 26 points, including a floater with 1:46 remaining after the Nets had trimmed New York's huge lead to four. Marbury had nine points on 3-of-3 shooting and six assists in just 16 minutes.

Normally the backup small forward, Chandler slid over to the power forward spot to replace David Lee, who has a sprained right ankle. Chandler was 10-of-15 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds.

Lee is expected to play Tuesday against Boston. D'Antoni didn't want to use Lee on back-to-back nights.

Missing a number of reserves, the Nets couldn't keep pace when the top subs were in. New Jersey trailed by only four midway through the third quarter, but Chandler and Marbury keyed a 16-2 spurt that made it 91-73 three minutes later.

Devin Harris scored 21 points for New Jersey, still winless this preseason in North America. The Nets swept a pair of games from Miami in Europe, but has lost all three games on home soil. Top draft pick Brook Lopez, playing extra minutes with fellow center Josh Boone out, had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Vince Carter scored 13 points.

Boone felt a rapid heartbeat at practice last Friday and is being held out until additional testing Wednesday. New Jersey also was without other potential key members of its rotation, including Keyon Dooling (upper respiratory infection), Jarvis Hayes (strained left hamstring), Eduardo Najera (left wrist) and Stromile Swift (back).

Robinson made all four shots, including three 3-pointers, and scored 11 points in 5 minutes of the first quarter, when the Knicks hit 62.5 percent and built a 36-29 lead. Robinson's four-point play early in the second extended the lead to 14, and New York led 67-58 at halftime.

Quentin Richardson scored 15 points for the Knicks. Chris Duhon had 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Eddy Curry, formerly the Knicks' starting center but now seemingly buried deep on D'Antoni's bench, made his first field goal of the preseason in the first quarter. Curry fell behind after missing the first week of practice with a bacterial infection and had played in only two of the first four games.

The teams meet again Friday night at Madison Square Garden in the preseason finale.