Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/7

Game 1: Wednesday, November 7th
Game 2: Friday, December 28th
Game 3: Saturday, March 16th
Game 4: Sunday, March 17th

Cavaliers 95

(23-42, 8-24 away)

Knicks 105

(25-39, 18-17 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:30 PM ET, March 16, 2002

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 22 32 17 2495
    NY 23 24 24 34105

    Top Performers

    Cle: L. Murray 24 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    NY: M. Jackson 22 Pts, 8 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Houston leads charge with 28 points

    NEW YORK (AP) -- After showing they could hold onto a lead, the New York Knicks proved they could overcome a deficit.

    Allan Houston

    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 strong."

    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 keep up.

    "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 quarter.

    "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 purpose."

    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 Murray.

    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."

    Game notes

    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 Weatherspoon.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 95 105
    FGM-FGA 41-89 (.461) 30-63 (.476)
    3PM-3PA 4-15 (.267) 9-16 (.563)
    FTM-FTA 9-12 (.750) 36-45 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-36 4-33
    Assists 20 25
    Turnovers 14 15
    Steals 10 7
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 2 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (5/0) 11 (0/1)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Lamond Murray Murray
    Points: 24
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Mark Jackson Jackson
    Points: 22
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0