NEW YORK (AP) _ After the second-triple-double of his career was
already in hand, Latrell Sprewell still wanted more.
Latrell Sprewell scored 16 of his 28 points in the overtime periods.
Catching a glimpse of Patrick Ewing getting ready to leave his courtside seat, Sprewell walked over to the former Knicks center and made a plea.
"I told him don't leave this building until you put your autograph on my jersey,'' Sprewell said after he scored New York's first 16 points of the two overtimes as the Knicks defeated Orlando 118-110 Friday night.
The 3 hour, 31 minute game was lengthened by a halftime ceremony to retire Ewing's uniform No. 33, and the Big Fella stuck around almost until the very end as his former team of 15 years defeated the team he spent his final season with.
Sprewell had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double since March 28, 1997 when he was with Golden State.
"I haven't had a whole lot of them, so it is special when you get one,'' Sprewell said. "It's something I'll always remember, because obviously I'll remember this night because of Patrick.''
Tracy McGrady had 34 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds for
the Magic, who had their longest winning streak of the season -- four games -- snapped. Drew Gooden added 20 points and 18 rebounds and Gordan Giricek also scored 20.
Orlando dropped to 0-3 in overtime games, while Knicks coach Don Chaney improved to 7-0 in his coaching career in multiple overtime games.
"I was concerned because we love Patrick so much and wanted
this thing to go over well, but by basketball standards it was a
distraction. I'm just thrilled it worked out fantastic for us,'' Chaney said.
After Giricek scored to open the second overtime, Sprewell hit
his fifth and sixth 3-pointers to give the Knicks a 109-105 lead.
Neither team scored for the next two minutes until Gooden
converted a tip-in with 1:17 left, but Sprewell answered with a
short jumper from the corner to put New York ahead by four.
Weatherspoon made one of two from the line with 32 seconds left,
then rebounded a miss by Gooden to match his career high. Houston
made two from the line with 23.6 seconds left to ice the victory.
"We knocked down shots in the first overtime, but in the second overtime it wasn't there,'' Gooden said. "But it was a great game. It's been a long night and I think everyone's tired and ready to go home.''
The Knicks, who had lost their previous six against Orlando, blew chances to win it at the end of regulation and the first overtime.
In regulation, Weatherspoon missed a point-blank layup with 0.6
seconds left after Houston's shot was blocked. In the first
overtime, Houston and Sprewell both missed short jumpers from the
corner in the final 6 seconds.
Sprewell hit the Knicks' first shot of overtime, but they missed
their next five and didn't score again until Sprewell hit a pull-up
3-pointer with 1:31 left to cut Orlando's lead to 103-100. After a
miss by the Magic, Sprewell again jacked up a quick 3-pointer to
tie the game with 59 seconds left.
Sprewell, who also had five steals, had the 31st triple-double
in team history, including one by Ewing.
"The way they won it, it was a perfect night for New York. We
wanted it to be a perfect night for us,'' Orlando coach Doc Rivers
Several Knicks wore wristbands with No. 33 on them as a
tribute to Ewing. ... Michael Jordan sat courtside next to Ewing in
the first half but did not stay for the second half. Agent David
Falk took over Jordan's seat for the final two quarters and then
overtimes. ... Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy got a rousing
ovation during the halftime ceremonies. It was his first time back
at the Garden for a Knicks game since he quit as their coach early
last season. ... Orlando G Chris Whitney, signed earlier in the day
after clearing waivers following his release by Denver, did not