Sprewell said earlier what Van Gundy knew about the Knicks' deficiencies.
"He had good looks, he just missed them," Sprewell said after
the New York Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 85-71 Tuesday night when Allen, the Bucks' leading scorer, missed 16 of 20 shots.
Allen was just 1-for-14 from 3-point range.
"It was one of those nights where he wasn't shooting the ball
particularly well. He had some looks," Sprewell said. "I didn't
really do anything out of the ordinary."
Sprewell, who scored 28 points in his hometown homecoming, was
just being modest, suggested teammate Marcus Camby.
"We knew he was going to be explosive playing in front of his
hometown," Camby said. "He did a great job on Ray, smothering him
and making him take tough shots."
Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy took Camby's view.
"When a guy like Ray Allen shoots as poorly as he did, you have
to give some credit to the defense," Van Gundy said.
Allen was just as stumped in trying to explain his night as he
was in trying to put the ball through the hoop.
"I maybe took two bad shots," Allen said. "I had open shots,
easy shots and I missed them. If I made half my shots, the outcome
of the game would have been totally different. I take
"That was probably one of the worst games I've ever played,"
Allen added. "It's disheartening. But that's sport. It's all about
statistics. And some nights happen like that."
Allen, the Bucks' leading scorer (21.7 points), was held to 10
points. Sam Cassell was just 4-for-16 for 12 points.
Allen took the blame for Cassell, too.
"That became contagious because I wasn't making my shots and I
think it starts to compound on the team when your couple starters
aren't making baskets," Allen said.
The Bucks shot just 26-for-84 (31 percent) overall.
Allen had a single point in the first half, a free throw with
1:48 left in the second quarter. He missed 11 shots before making a
bucket with 1:33 left in the third quarter.
"It's amazing how great players can be fragile," Bucks coach
George Karl said.
Allan Houston added 22 points for the Knicks (10-9), who outshot
the Bucks 44 percent to 31 percent. Camby had eight points and 13
rebounds, 12 of them on the defensive glass.
The Bucks (9-6), coming off an 0-4 Western road trip, have
dropped five in a row for the first time since Feb. 17-25, 2000.
This was their lowest scoring output since an 85-70 loss at Atlanta
on April 25, 1999.
"This team every year for the last three years has had to
tinker near disaster before it responded," Karl said. "Why? I
have no idea. Maybe it's the character of our team."
Milwaukee, which had been 6-0 against the Eastern Conference,
trailed 42-33 at halftime after getting outshot 47 percent to 29
Karl said he was amazed the Bucks stayed in the game as long as
they did while shooting so poorly.
Glenn Robinson, who didn't play Sunday night at Portland because
of a sprained right wrist, scored 24 points. But he picked up his
fifth foul with 11:43 remaining and sat out for six minutes.
The Bucks sorely missed him, watching a four-point deficit go
back above double digits as Milwaukee never made a game of it after
The Bucks were lethargic from the start, but Camby picked up
three fouls in just over a minute and took a seat with the Knicks
ahead 48-36 with 8:13 left in the third quarter.
Othella Harrington replaced him but he, too, picked up quick
fouls, including two offensive fouls and a technical in a 30-second
span as the Bucks whittled away at the lead, pulling to 66-62 after
But the Bucks went cold again, scoring just one basket in the
first 5:35 of the fourth quarter.
"This is one of the best performances we've had as a team,"
Game notes New York is 3-7 on the road and 7-2 at home. ... The Bucks
have been held under 100 points in their last eight games. ... At
halftime, the local Milwaukee firefighters union presented a check
for nearly $700,000 to two New York firefighters for the surviving
families of rescue workers who perished in the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. ... Packers wide receiver Antonio Freeman was in the crowd
and his smile won him a year's supply of toothpaste during a
timeout in the fourth quarter.