NEW YORK (AP) -- After showing they could hold onto a lead, the
New York Knicks proved they could overcome a deficit.
What's next, a three-game win streak?
Allan Houston scored 28 points as the New York Knicks won
consecutive games under coach Don Chaney for just the second time,
beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-95 Saturday night.
Kurt Thomas added 22 points, Mark Jackson had a season-high 22
points, eight rebounds and eight assists and Latrell Sprewell
scored 18 for the Knicks, who will try for their third straight win
Sunday in Cleveland.
"It seems like it has been a long time since we had a winning
streak," Houston said. "It feels good to finish the game
It's not a feeling the Knicks are used to. More familiar has
been blowing leads, like they did against Philadelphia Tuesday, but
Houston says the team hasn't folded.
The Knicks' 113-96 win over Sacramento on Thursday and this
comeback win might signal that he is right.
Lamond Murray scored 24 points and Ricky Davis had 18 for the
Cavaliers, who led for most of the third quarter but committed too
many fouls. The Knicks hit 36 of 45 free throws, while the Cavs
were 9-for-12 from the line. Coach John Lucas was ejected with 1:30
left for arguing.
"They say the more aggressive team gets the calls, and I
thought we were the more aggressive team tonight," Cleveland guard
Andre Miller said. "But there was nothing we could do."
And New York took advantage, putting the game away in the fourth
as Sprewell and Houston found their strokes and Cleveland couldn't
"I had to have my two shooters, Allan and Sprewell, in the
game," Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "Although they weren't
shooting the ball exceptionally well, I felt that if we posted up
we had to have someone on the perimeter that could hit the shot.
"I didnt want to mess with bringing other guys in."
The Knicks went on a 13-4 run to take a 94-84 lead with 4:14 to
go. Houston then hit a 3-pointer, and Sprewell followed with a pair
of free throws and a 3 to seal the win.
Houston, who has led the Knicks in scoring against the Cavs in
seven of the last eight games the teams have played, had 18 points
in the second half. Sprewell had 10 of his points in the fourth
"If we don't get to the playoff spot, we still want to finish
playing as if were playing for a playoff spot," Houston said.
"We're out there right now and still playing like we have a
Cleveland ditched the press that earned it a lead in the first
half, and the Knicks started taking the ball inside and getting
back into the game in the third quarter at the free throw line.
Jackson hit a pair at the line, and Thomas followed an
off-balance bank shot with a free throw to cut Cleveland's 12-point
lead to seven.
Sprewell hit a short jumper, then hit three of four free throws
before Jackson and Shandon Anderson each sank a pair.
Thomas then completed another three-point play to give the
Knicks a 71-69 lead.
Houston and Sprewell were both ineffective in the first quarter,
Houston missing several jumpers and Sprewell struggling to defend
Cleveland's press produced a pair of turnovers late in the first
quarter, and the Cavaliers went ahead 30-25 early in the second as
Davis hit a pair of jumpers and Miller intercepted a pass from
Houston and found Jumaine Jones for a jumper.
"We've been giving teams trouble with our defense," Murray
said. "Were going to try to get this one back tomorrow, and
hopefully things will be flip-flopped. I mean, we'll be the home
team, so we'll see."
Zydrunas Ilgauskas sprained his right ankle in practice
Friday and was a game-time decision starter. He played only 15
minutes. ... Injured forward Marcus Camby was walking without
crutches this week for the first time since he was placed on the
injured list with a torn muscle and bone contusion of the right hip
in February. "I saw him walk without a limp -- at least I though it
wasn't a limp," said Chaney, who isn't counting on having Camby
back this season. "That's encouraging," Chaney said. "I don't
know what the possibilities are." ... In the past 10 seasons, the
Knicks have gone 25-5 in home-and-home contests. They've won both
games the last eight times they've played the same team on
consecutive days. ... The Knicks didn't dip into their bench until
the second quarter, when Othella Harrington replaced Clarence