NEW YORK (AP) -- After playing his best game in ages, Charlie
Ward seemed to be trying to earn bonus points for honesty.
"If you get any offense from me, it's surprising. Or anything,
it's surprising," Ward said after scoring 11 of his season-high 14
points in the fourth quarter to lead the resurgent New York Knicks
past the Philadelphia 76ers 78-71 on Tuesday night.
The Knicks extended their winning streak to a season-high four
games and held Philadelphia to its lowest point total of the
It was just the second loss in nine games for the 76ers, who got
just 15 points from Allen Iverson -- none in the fourth quarter -- on
"I'm amazed. The MVP of the league can't get to the free-throw
line until the last three minutes of the game. That's unfair,"
Sixers coach Larry Brown said. "I don't like to whine, and this is
the first time I've said anything about him all season, but he got
beat up tonight. That's unacceptable."
Iverson actually took four foul shots in the third quarter and
two in the fourth, but he agreed with Brown's assessment that he
didn't get a fair shake.
"The refs weren't giving me any calls tonight. I felt like a
rookie," he said. "I know that at this point in my career I'm not
supposed to let the referees get into my head. But tonight they got
the best of me."
Ward, who hadn't played well in weeks and had scored a total of
just 11 points in the previous three games, was on the court for
the entire fourth quarter after logging just seven minutes in the
first three quarters.
He scored eight of New York's first 10 points of the fourth
quarter on a 3-pointer, a driving 5-footer and a three-point play
off a reverse layup to give New York the first 10-point lead, 69-59
with 5:27 left.
Ward later scored on a fast-break layup for a 73-61 lead after
he and Marcus Camby harassed Iverson into a turnover, but
Philadelphia pulled to 73-67 with a 6-0 run.
Ward ended the streak by finding Kurt Thomas open in the low
post for a layup with 1:11 left for his only assist of the night.
After the game, Ward was more candid and animated than usual.
His self-depreciating comments about his lack of production were
based in fact.
Ward is shooting just 32 percent from the field while averaging
3.7 points, and has sat out eight games because of a coach's
decision while going scoreless in four others. Lately, he has been
surrendering more and more minutes to the starter, Mark Jackson.
What has gone wrong?
"I have no answer for that," Ward said. "We can debate it and
talk about it, but there's no easy answer.
"Tonight I was feeling good, got an opportunity to play, had
fresh legs. I was trying to make a difference like I do each and
every single day," Ward said.
Jackson had 11 points and Kurt Thomas 10 for the Knicks, who got
little from their two leading scorers. Allan Houston shot 3-for-16
and scored nine, while Latrell Sprewell shot 3-for-11 and also
Matt Harpring had 17 and Derrick Coleman 12 for the 76ers, who
had scored at least 90 points in their 10 previous games and hadn't
been held in the 70s since Dec. 7.
Marcus Camby scored on an alley-oop layup off an inbounds pass
at the first-quarter buzzer to cut Philadelphia's lead to 22-21,
and Jackson banked in a shot from beyond midcourt at the halftime
buzzer to give New York a 40-38 lead. Jackson took a bow after
making the shot.
Neither team made a move in the third, and the Knicks held a
59-57 lead entering the fourth.
Game notes Sixers G Aaron McKie missed his second consecutive game
with a left ankle and Achilles' tendon strain. He is not expected
to play Friday at Milwaukee but could return Saturday against
Toronto. ... Houston missed a free throw in the third quarter after
a technical foul against Mutombo, snapping his streak of
consecutive free throws at 31. ... The Knicks improved to 3-9
against teams from the Atlantic Division. ... Philadelphia was
0-for-6 from 3-point range. New York was 6-for-22.