ATLANTA (AP) -- The New York Knicks faced a team that wasn't
prepared to give much of a defensive effort. They certainly took
Latrell Sprewell scored 25 points and the Knicks reached 100 for
the first time this season, holding off the Atlanta Hawks for a
105-100 victory Wednesday night.
New York swept a home-and-home series, following up an 88-83
victory Monday at Madison Square Garden. Sprewell scored 29 points
in that game and had plenty of help in the rematch.
Allan Houston added 19 points for the Knicks, who got an
unexpected boost offensively from Mark Jackson. The 14-year veteran
scored a season-high 17 points -- 10 more than his average.
"I'm playing well," said Jackson, who also had a season-best
13 assists from the point guard position. "I'm glad they're leaving
Kurt Thomas also scored 17 as six of New York's nine players
shot 50 percent or better.
Overall, the Knicks were 54 percent (42-for-78) from the field
and easily surpassed their previous high of 95 points in a loss to
"It's a real relief," Sprewell said. "We're starting to play
The game wasn't as close as the final score indicated. The
Knicks led virtually the entire game, pushing its lead as high as
New York got a little complacent at the end, allowing the Hawks
to make things respectable. They weren't deceived by the late
"They killed us all night," Jason Terry said. "They had the
game won -- that's the only reason we came back. We take no solace
in this loss."
New York had little trouble getting to the basket and basically
ran its offense as though it were a practice.
"Sprewell and Houston caught the ball wherever they wanted to
catch it," Atlanta's Dion Glover said. "You can have trouble
making shots, but the effort defensively has got to be there."
Glover led the Hawks with 22 points but was disgusted with the
team's performance at the other end.
"It's like we were not even on the same page," he said. "Some
guys were trapping, other guys weren't. We didn't have a clue what
The Knicks, meanwhile, put the clamps on Atlanta's top offensive
players. Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 20 points but shot only 5-for-15.
Terry went 5-for-13 and finished with 15 points.
"I've got to be a lot more aggressive," Terry said. "I've got
to get out in transition and get some easy baskets. I'm not doing
that right now."
The Knicks won their third in a row to get back to .500 (8-8).
"It's very important," Jackson said. "The schedule gets
tougher and tougher. If we didn't do it now, we might never do
The Hawks lost their third in a row despite a late spurt,
cutting into a 16-point deficit with a 10-0 run.
Down 102-98, Atlanta got the ball with less than 30 seconds
remaining, only to have Thomas swat away a driving shot by Terry.
"We've been making some progress, but tonight certainly didn't
continue that progress," Hawks coach Lon Kruger said. "We've got
to be concerned with the other 40 minutes as opposed to the last
four or five."
Marcus Camby, playing his second game for the Knicks after
recovering from a foot injury, was held to nine points after
scoring 18 in his debut.
The Knicks went ahead for good at 14-12 on Thomas' basket midway
through the first quarter.
Sprewell had a three-point play with 4:50 remaining to push the
Knicks to a 94-81 lead after the Hawks got within six.
Game notes Six players were in double figures for the Hawks, who got
16 points from Jacque Vaughn and 15 from Toni Kukoc off the bench.
... Vaughn went 7-for-8 from the field and is 34-for-57 (60 percent)
since missing his first 22 shots. ... The Knicks haven't been at
.500 since losing their second game to drop to 1-1. ... Miami is
the only team that hasn't scored 100 points in a game this season.
... Nazr Mohammed, filling in at center for the injured Theo
Ratliff, went to the free-throw line for the first time in six
games. He finished 4-for-5.