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Marbury held scoreless in second half

1/24/2004

NEW YORK (AP) -- With Allan Houston hurting, Keith Van Horn
benched and Stephon Marbury struggling, there wasn't much the New
York Knicks could do for offense down the stretch.

Managing only one field goal during the final six minutes, the
Knicks lost 85-77 Saturday night to the Miami Heat.

In the final seconds, Heat coach Stan Van Gundy walked down the
sideline exchanging high fives with his assistants and players as
Miami avenged a pair of lopsided losses to the Knicks earlier this
season.

"We were upset about those losses, believe me, but it wasn't
about anything other than us trying to get a win and play well,"
said Eddie Jones, whose 26 points included a jumper that put Miami
ahead for good with 3:03 remaining.

Jones added six assists -- the last of which clinched the victory
with 40 seconds remaining.

It was the first loss at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks
under coach Lenny Wilkens, who was without Houston (sore knee) for
the final 14{ minutes. Wilkens also made a questionable decision by
leaving Van Horn on the bench for almost the entire fourth quarter.

"In the beginning he struggled some, and then when the matchups
went small we went small," said Wilkens, who played four reserves
with Marbury for much of the final quarter. "We had that lineup
out there ... and it worked really well. We were right in the
game."

But not for long enough.

Without the outside shooting of Van Horn and Houston-- and with
Marbury held scoreless in the second half on 0-for-6 shooting -- the
Knicks shot 31 percent in the fourth quarter and were outscored
22-13.

Lamar Odom had 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and
Caron Butler scored 17 for the Heat.

Michael Doleac scored 18 and Penny Hardaway 16 for the Knicks,
whose reserves outscored their starters 39-38. Doleac and Hardaway
each played 32 minutes while Van Horn played 26 and Houston 23.

"There were times I felt like checking myself into the game,
and there were times I felt like I bailed out on the team,"
Houston said. "But when I was out there, I don't know how it
looked, but I know how it felt."

Van Horn returned with 1:21 remaining and made one of two free
throws 13 seconds later to leave Miami ahead 81-77.

"It's difficult coming in after sitting for so long, you're a
little tight. But still, you have to have the confidence to knock
that down," Van Horn said

Three defenders collapsed on Jones as he drove the lane on the
Heat's next possession, and he passed the ball to Brian Grant for a
wide-open 18-footer that gave Miami a six-point lead with 40.4
seconds left.

That ended all suspense, and Miami went on to win for only the
third time in nine games while the Knicks dropped to 4-2 under
Wilkens.

"New coach, new situation. Everyone's trying to figure
everybody out," Van Horn said.

After Miami took a 23-14 lead late in the first quarter, the
Knicks fought back in the second behind the play of reserves
Doleac, Hardaway and Frank Williams.

Williams, who has taken over the backup point guard job from
Moochie Norris, had three assists in a 13-2 run that gave the
Knicks a 35-31 lead. Miami led 46-45 at halftime, and the game
stayed tight through the third and fourth quarters with neither
team leading by more than five.

Marbury finished with four points, failing to score over the
final 39:18.

"Tonight was just an off-night for myself. I just wasn't into
the game how I normally am. It happens," Marbury said. "My timing
was off. When I was supposed to shoot I was passing, and when I was
supposed to shoot I passed.

"Those guys wanted the game more than us tonight."

Game notes
Rafer Alston and Butler of Miami had a brief altercation on
the bench during a timeout early in the third quarter. When Butler
stood up to confront Alston, teammates and coaches separated the
two. ... Knicks F Shandon Anderson, whose NBA-leading consecutive
games streak ended at 543 Friday night, left the arena 90 minutes
before tipoff because of a migraine headache.