Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/20

Game 1: Thursday, December 20th
Game 2: Tuesday, March 19th

Knicks 88

(12-14, 8-5 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:30 PM ET, December 20, 2001

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    MEM 18 22 34 1690
    NY 14 23 28 2388

    Top Performers

    Mem: S. Battier 21 Pts, 9 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    NY: M. Jackson 14 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Battier hits winner, Knicks miss five tie tries

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Marcus Camby's layup hung on the rim and fell out. He tipped the ball and it missed, and Kurt Thomas did the same.

    The ball bounced out to Mark Jackson for a 5-footer that also hung on the rim but wouldn't fall. Finally, Camby tipped it toward the basket one last time. That shot missed, too.

    The New York Knicks couldn't convert five chances to tie the game in the final six seconds, and the Memphis Grizzlies won at Madison Square Garden for the first time in franchise history, 90-88 Thursday night.

    "I was screaming, yelling, 'Tip it out, just tip it out,"' Memphis coach Sidney Lowe said. "I just think the Lord was on our side this time. He said 'You guys played too hard, I'm going to give this one to you.' "

    Divine intervention aside, the Grizzlies won this one because they simply outworked the Knicks for most of the evening.

    Shane Battier scored 21 points, including a tiebreaking jumper with 9.8 seconds left, and the Grizzlies snapped a five-game losing streak and won on the road for just the second time this season.

    "Guys weren't focused team-wide. We weren't ready to play, weren't playing together," Latrell Sprewell said. "There was a definite lack of respect for the opponent, and I think that's what cost us the game."

    The loss spoiled a big fourth quarter for Sprewell, who scored New York's first 14 points of the period, including a personal 9-0 run that tied the game after the Knicks trailed by 13 late in the third.

    Sprewell finished with 27 points, Allan Houston had 25, and Jackson added 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Camby was 0-for-6 from the field and 2-for-5 from the foul line.

    "It's obvious we weren't ready to play, and turning it on in the fourth quarter didn't work out," Camby said.

    Stromile Swift scored 15, Pau Gasol had 14, and Jason Williams added 11 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Memphis.

    Williams hit a 3-pointer with 1:15 left that was answered 17 seconds later by Houston to tie the game 88-88. Battier lost his dribble on Memphis' next possession, but Jackson gave the ball right back by heaving a pass high over Sprewell's head.

    The Grizzlies ran the clock down, and Battier hit a 15-footer off an inbounds pass with 9.8 seconds left after Sprewell tripped while fighting through a pick.

    "I was shocked how wide open I was. I was expecting Allan or Latrell to come flying at me, but I had a good look at it," Battier said.

    Memphis led for most of the first three quarters, but the Knicks pulled within nine points at the end of the third when Brevin Knight fouled Jackson as he heaved a desperation shot from beyond midcourt.

    Jackson was awarded three free throws and made them all, cutting the Grizzlies' lead to 74-65, and Sprewell opened the fourth quarter with a corner jumper and a 3-pointer in the first 40 seconds.

    Sprewell scored New York's next eight points on a pair of free throws, a jumper and two layups -- the last of which gave New York a 78-76 lead, its first since the fifth minute of the game.

    The Knicks led 85-80 before Grant Long -- who spent much of the game defending Houston -- made a 3-pointer on his first long-range attempt of the season to cut the deficit to two. Gasol tied it at 85-85 on two foul shots with 2:23 left.

    Game notes
    Knicks center Travis Knight's playing time continues to increase under new coach Don Chaney. Knight played 18 minutes and had six points and three rebounds. ... Long, a 6-foot-8 power forward, has made 81 3-pointers over his 14 NBA seasons. ... The Knicks have lost three straight at home.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 90 88
    FGM-FGA 35-75 (.467) 36-80 (.450)
    3PM-3PA 3-12 (.250) 4-11 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 17-24 (.708) 12-15 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-39 14-43
    Assists 22 16
    Turnovers 17 15
    Steals 9 10
    Blocks 6 6
    Fast Break Points 12 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 19 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Shane Battier Battier
    Points: 21
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Mark Jackson Jackson
    Points: 14
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0