Houston scored 30 points and Lee Nailon had 10 of his 15 in the
fourth quarter as the Knicks won their first road game of the
season and spoiled Vince Carter's return to the Toronto Raptors
with an 87-81 victory Wednesday night.
"All I was thinking about was winning the game,'' said Houston,
who has four 30-plus scoring games, just three fewer than all of
"I wanted to go to with what my strength is, and that's getting
to a point and pulling up,'' he said.
Kurt Thomas added 18 points for the Knicks, who improved to 1-4
on the road and 3-10 overall. The Knicks, who have won just two of
their last eight, made 11 of their 12 free throws down the stretch.
They won despite blowing a 14-point third quarter lead.
"The games that we've lost already were crushing,'' Houston
said. "Had we lost tonight, which I don't want to even think
about, it couldn't be any worse than what we already have faced.''
Carter scored 16 points in his first game after missing 10 with
a strained quadriceps tendon in his left knee. Carter went 7-for-14
from the field in 24 minutes for the Raptors, who have lost six
"It's hard for me to get a rhythm, I admit that,'' Carter said.
"I'm ready to play. They just felt they should watch my minutes
After Houston's jumper tied it at 74 with 2:29 left, Carter made
a hook shot.
Thomas followed with a short jumper, and Houston made an 18-foot
jumper over Voshon Lenard, giving New York a 78-76 lead.
After Thomas blocked Antonio Davis' shot, Houston made another
jumper with 30 seconds left.
Houston then made one of two free throws, cutting it to 81-78
with 25 seconds remaining.
Howard Eisley grabbed a rebound after Carter missed his second
free throw. Eisley then made two free throws with 18.5 seconds left
to give New York a four-point lead.
After Carter missed a running jumper, New York's Shandon
Anderson made two more free throws, and Houston made two more with
less than 10 seconds left to seal the victory.
"We definitely needed a victory, especially after we lost the
lead,'' Thomas said.
Othella Harrington converted a 3-point play, Houston made a
3-pointer and Eisley capped a 13-6 run for the Knicks with a
3-pointer, giving New York a 14-point lead -- their biggest lead of
the game -- with 7:49 left in the third.
After a timeout, Carter made a reverse dunk and the Raptors
responded by outscoring New York 22-6 the rest of the quarter as
Davis had 11 points.
Davis' 18-foot jumper gave Toronto a 60-58 lead with 26 seconds
left in the period.
Houston had 13 points and Thomas 10 as the Knicks led 39-32 at
Alvin Williams threw up an alley-oop pass for Carter in the
first quarter, but Carter didn't attempt to dunk it, opting for a
short jumper instead.
Toronto's Jerome Williams missed the game with a sore
elbow. ... New York coach Don Chaney complained before the game
that half of the locker room chalkboard is taken up by the outline
of a hockey rink. The arena is shared by the NHL's Toronto Maple
Leafs. ... The Raptors went 3-7 without Carter. ... Carter came off
the bench for just the second time in his career.