Regular Season Series (Game 4 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

Knicks 99

(25-40, 7-23 away)

Cavaliers 104

(24-42, 16-18 home)

    Coverage: FSOH

    7:00 PM ET, March 17, 2002

    Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 26 21 28 2499
    CLE 31 24 23 26104

    Top Performers

    New York: K. Thomas 33 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Cleveland: W. Person 29 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Cleveland takes second half of back-to-back

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Wesley Person's hot shooting for the Cleveland Cavaliers proved too much for the New York Knicks to overcome Sunday night.

    Wesley Person

    Even with Kurt Thomas scoring 20 of his career-high 33 points in the fourth quarter for New York, the Cavaliers held on to win 104-99 behind Person's 29 points.

    "I was able to make some shots from outside and that opened things up inside for us," Person said after shooting 12-for-14 from the field, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

    Thomas scored the Knicks' first 16 points of the fourth quarter. He shot 8-for-9 while the rest of his team went 0-for-10 over a 10:57 span. He finished 16-for-19 from the field and also had 15 rebounds.

    "It really doesn't mean anything if you play well and don't get the win," Thomas said. "It was an unbelievable feeling, even better when your teammates know you're in a groove and try to get you the ball."

    Cleveland got it to Person early, then turned to center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who scored six straight points to put the Cavaliers ahead 84-75 early in the fourth quarter. Ilgauskas finished with 20 points.

    "We had no answer for him inside and were afraid to double him because they had Person on the perimeter," Knicks coach Don Chaney said.

    Charlie Ward snapped Thomas' streak by hitting a short jumper with 1:03 to go, pulling the Knicks within 100-93.

    "We should have won the game going away," Cavs coach John Lucas said. "We made some youthful mistakes coming down the stretch."

    Ward then stole the ball from Ricky Davis, leading to a basket by Othella Harrington. Davis missed a layup and Thomas hit a 9-foot jumper to pull New York within 100-97 with 21.6 seconds left.

    "We made some silly plays there," Person said.

    Cleveland's Andre Miller sank two free throws with 19.6 seconds to play for a 102-97 lead, but Thomas scored on a drive with 11.8 left.

    Miller, who finished with 23 points and 14 assists, made two more free throws to finish the scoring.

    "I wasn't nervous, but I was tired," Miller said about going 4-for-4 from the line at the end.

    Allan Houston scored 20 points for New York, which was seeking its first three-game winning streak since Chaney took over as coach in December. Houston shot 4-for-6 from 3-point range and is 15-for-17 from beyond the arc in four games against Cleveland this season.

    Houston played with a sore left knee, injured in the shootaround before he scored 28 points Saturday night in a 105-95 home win over the Cavs.

    "I wasn't thinking about it, but it probably slowed me a little on defense," he said. "It may have."

    Person scored 13 points on 6-for-6 shooting in the first half in helping Cleveland to a 55-47 lead at the break. The Cavaliers finished the half on a 14-7 run after concluding the first quarter with a 14-3 spurt.

    Person opened the second half with a 3-pointer for a 58-47 lead.

    New York battled back as Houston and Thomas each scored seven points to help the Knicks get within 73-71 with 1:25 left in the third.

    Davis then converted two free throws, stole a pass, and set up Person for yet another 3-pointer and a 78-71 advantage.

    Game notes

    New York is 26-6 in home-and-home contests the last 10 seasons. The Knicks had won both games the previous eight times they played the same team on consecutive days. ... Knicks forward Shandon Anderson played in his 400th consecutive game -- the league's longest current streak. ... Miller had his 40th game of 10 or more assists this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 99 104
    FGM-FGA 42-80 (.525) 40-83 (.482)
    3PM-3PA 9-20 (.450) 6-9 (.667)
    FTM-FTA 6-11 (.545) 18-19 (.947)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-36 13-39
    Assists 29 27
    Turnovers 14 13
    Steals 7 5
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 6 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 12 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Kurt Thomas Thomas
    Points: 33
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Wesley Person Person
    Points: 29
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0