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Robinson escapes doghouse with game-winning play

ATLANTA (AP) -- Moments after leaving Latrell Sprewell wide open
for a tying 3-pointer, Glenn Robinson made up for his mistake by winning the game.

Robinson had a three-point play with 3 seconds left, capping a frantic final minute as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the New York Knicks 107-104 Friday night.

With a final chance to tie it, the Knicks went back to Sprewell, who was immediately fouled by Robinson with 1.8 seconds left. But Sprewell missed the first free throw, then intentionally clanged the second off the rim.

Atlanta's Shareef Abdur-Rahim grabbed the rebound, securing the third victory in a row for the Hawks. They've won five of six overall and have 27 victories this season -- just one fewer than the Knicks.

"I think we feel like we know how we'll win a game now,'' Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said.

Robinson, who finished with 19 points, hit the deciding basket when he took a pass near the free throw line and made a jumper over Charlie Ward.

"It was a tough shot, because he fouled me,'' Robinson said. "Usually they don't call that late in the game. I would've done the same thing he did.''

Earlier, Sprewell hit a wide-open 3-pointer to tie it at 104 after taking an inbound pass in the corner from Houston. Sprewell had time to check his feet to make sure he was behind the line, then drilled the shot.

"On the timeout, I called the switch, and I guess Glenn didn't switch with somebody else,'' Stotts said. "End-of-game situations, you can't have a breakdown.

"To be honest, I've never seen a guy come that open with a game on the line in my career. We didn't have a guy within 15 feet of him.''

Abdur-Rahim scored a season-high 33 points and Jason Terry added 20 for Atlanta.

Allan Houston had 28 for New York, which lost its second in a
row after a two-game winning streak to fall four games behind
Milwaukee in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in
the Eastern Conference. Kurt Thomas, who left in the first quarter
to get four stitches for a gash under his chin, had 26.

Robinson's final basket was the seventh lead change of the final
3:25.

"You can't trade baskets late in the game and win on the road,
especially when it's close,'' Houston said. "We put ourselves in a
bad situation by not playing our best basketball when we needed to.
We haven't been playing good basketball for two weeks.''

Houston scored eight points during a 10-0 run midway through the
fourth quarter to give the Knicks a 93-88 lead, their largest of
the second half.

But Atlanta came back to take a 96-95 lead on a jumper by
Abdur-Rahim, and the teams swapped the lead six more times before
Robinson gave the Hawks a 102-101 lead with a jumper over Houston.

Terry added two free throws before Sprewell tied it with his 3.

"I stayed confident the whole time, and I'm sure my teammates
did,'' Terry said. "We knew we could win. There was only 3 seconds
left, but we still got it done.''

Atlanta shot 50 percent, but the Knicks stayed in the game by
making 12 of 22 3-pointers, including 5-of-6 by Ward.

"We did a good job the last two minutes,'' Sprewell said. "We
fought and scrapped and didn't give up. That was the way the game
went.''

Game notes
The Knicks had won five of the past six against the Hawks,
including both previous games this season. ... Atlanta decided not
to sign G Brandon Williams for the remainder of the season when his
second 10-day contract expired Thursday, leaving the Hawks with 10
players. C Nazr Mohammed is out for the season with a
stress fracture in his right foot, but with three players already
on the injured list, he's on the active roster.

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