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Knicks end four-game losing slide

12/18/2001

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- A team meeting and a trip to Charlotte
were all the New York Knicks needed to end their losing streak.

A day after the Knicks met to discuss their four-game slide,
Latrell Sprewell scored 30 points Tuesday night to lead New York to
a 100-95 victory over Charlotte, dropping the Hornets to 3-7 at
home this season.

"We all knew how important this game was and we were just on
the same page mentally and physically," Sprewell said. "The
meeting did that. People got to air out whatever they had to say.
The one thing we walked away from it was that guys really did care
about winning."

Especially Sprewell, who scored 13 points in the fourth quarter
and hit a pair of free throws with 12 seconds to play that sealed
the win and helped the Knicks avoid their first five-game losing
streak since the 1995-96 season.

Allan Houston added 21 and Marcus Camby scored 17 for the
Knicks, who improved to 2-4 under interim coach Don Chaney.

"I really wanted to win because I think this team is pretty
good, these are good guys and they work hard," Chaney said. "I'm
really proud of them. I thought all the guys did the extras, not
that we didn't play hard the other nights, but we did all the
little things, all the intangibles in this one."

David Wesley scored 19 for Charlotte, which has lost seven of
its last eight games at home and can't figure out why.

"We're concerned, this is where you make up for games you don't
win on the road," Wesley said. "Right now we have it backward --
we're winning on the road and we're awful at home."

Elden Campbell and Baron Davis each added 18, but Davis missed a
wide open 3-pointer with 15 seconds to play that would have given
the Hornets the lead.

Instead, Camby got the rebound, Sprewell was fouled and hit both
free throws to make it 98-94.

Sprewell and Davis were both surprised Davis' 3-pointer missed.

"I was right out there, I had a dead-on look at it and I
thought it was good," Sprewell said. "It was just short."

"I thought I had it, but I missed. Next time I'll make it,"
said Davis, who was more upset with the Hornets' defense than he
was at the shot.

"I don't think we focus at well at home as we do on the road.
Our defense, man, we give up way too many points here. We don't
stop nobody."

They failed to do it in the third quarter, when they went from
leading by one to trailing by 10. But they cut the score to 80-75
with 8:03 to play, only to see their offense disappear.

Charlotte got six of their next eight points on free throws as
the Knicks pushed their lead to 92-83 on Sprewell's 3-pointer with
4:17 to go.

They cut it to five twice, but Sprewell had an answer each time,
first with a driving layup then by drawing a foul to go to the
line, where he made both free throws to make it 96-89 with 2:03 to
play.

Davis then hit an open 3 at the top of the key to cut New York's
lead to 96-94 with 55 seconds left.

Houston missed at the other end, Stacey Augmon got the rebound
and the Hornets had a chance to go ahead. But Bullard passed up an
open 3, passing instead to Davis, who also was open but missed.

"It's a broken record right now," Charlotte coach Paul Silas
said. "We've been playing as hard as we can play, but we just
can't get the win."

Game notes
Chaney and Silas, friends since the two played together in
Boston in the 1970s, chatted briefly before the start of the game,
but that was it. "You can't socialize before a game," Chaney
said. ... NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield and car owner Ray Evernham
attended the game as guests of the Hornets. Evernham, who grew up a
Knicks fan in New Jersey, said he roots for Charlotte now. ... The
Hornets recognized Sherri Hayward of Huntersville at halftime as
their 20,000,000th visitor. Among her gifts was a 10-year parking
pass at the Coliseum -- a prize that would be worthless if the team
leaves Charlotte at the end of the season.