Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/8

Game 1: Sunday, February 8th
Game 2: Friday, February 27th

Knicks 94

(26-34, 10-19 away)

Clippers 96

(25-32, 17-11 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:30 PM ET, February 27, 2004

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 27 28 22 1794
    LAC 35 27 21 1396

    Top Performers

    NY: S. Marbury 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 9 Ast, 3 Stl

    LAC: E. Brand 19 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Marbury tallies 29 points, nine assists

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Bobby Simmons did for the Los Angeles Clippers what Kurt Thomas couldn't do for the New York Knicks -- make a clutch jumper with the game on the line.

    Simmons hit go-ahead 19-footer with 21.3 seconds remaining and Quentin Richardson scored 23 points as the Clippers extended the New York Knicks' losing streak to five games with a 96-94 victory Friday night.

    Elton Brand had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who had lost seven of their previous nine games.

    Chris Wilcox made one of two free throws with 51 seconds left before Simmons made the eventual game-winner from the right of the key. Coach Mike Dunleavy sent in Simmons to replace Corey Maggette for defensive purposes just 30 seconds earlier.

    "I'm not sure what Mike had in store for me, but we knew that they were going to go small and that they were going to have Tim Thomas at the power forward position," Simmons said. "He was posing up the whole game, so the one thing I didn't want him to do was let him catch the ball in order to have an attempt at the basket."

    Kurt Thomas missed a medium-range jumper with five seconds left, and Richardson made one of two free throws before Thomas shot an airball from 17 feet just before the final buzzer. The Knicks had only one field goal in the final 9:12.

    The Knicks, who already have used a franchise-record 21 players this season, had their 18th different starting lineup as coach Lenny Wilkens had Kurt Thomas at center. But he picked up two fouls in the first 1{ minutes and was a non-factor the rest of the game, finishing with four points in 16 minutes after getting his fourth foul just 3:20 into the second half.

    "I couldn't get into a rhythm because of the foul trouble, but my teammates kept fighting and got back into the game," said Thomas, who had 344 fouls last season. "It came down to the end, and I couldn't make a shot. They were pretty good looks, but because of the fact that I wasn't in my rhythm and didn't have my legs under me from sitting on the bench pretty much the whole game."

    The Knicks scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter to take an 85-83 lead -- their first since the first quarter. The lead changed hands three more times before Tim Thomas, who missed most of Wednesday night's game at Phoenix because of a hyperextended right elbow, sank two free throws with 1:13 to play for a 94-92 edge.

    "It was sore and it still is, but it's nothing that I can't play through," he said after scoring 22 points. "I just kept fighting and kept playing. I know it's going to be sore the rest of the season, but it's something that I'll just have to deal with."

    Stephon Marbury had 28 points and nine assists for New York, which is 10-10 since Wilkens replaced Don Chaney as head coach.

    Dikembe Mutombo reported in for the first time with 6:19 left in the third quarter and New York trailing 74-63. He made a layup and grabbed three rebounds to help close the gap to four.

    Nazr Mohammed, playing his fifth game since the three-way deal that brought him to the Knicks from Atlanta on Feb. 15, eclipsed his season high in rebounds in the first half with 11. He finished with 12.

    The Clippers used 17 points from Richardson and 14 from Maggette to take a 62-55 halftime lead, their most productive first half of the season. Tim Thomas had 15 points in the half to match Marbury's total.

    Game notes

    A third straight season out of the playoffs would match the Knicks' longest drought since a seven-year stretch that ended in 1967 -- Willis Reed's third season with the club. "I think that we have a great chance to make the playoffs," Mutombo said. "All we have to do is go out there as players and try to compete ... regardless of the decisions the coaches are making now. That's how I'm looking at it right now. I'm not worrying about Mutombo not starting no more." ... Allan Houston, the only Knick to start all 82 games last season, sat out his 13th straight game with an injured left knee. The two-time All-Star has missed 19 games this season, matching the total he missed during his first 10 NBA campaigns.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 96
    FGM-FGA 31-73 (.425) 33-80 (.413)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 6-17 (.353)
    FTM-FTA 30-33 (.909) 24-29 (.828)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-39 13-39
    Assists 18 16
    Turnovers 13 16
    Steals 9 7
    Blocks 4 4
    Fast Break Points 3 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (0/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Los Angeles
    Stephon Marbury Marbury
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 19
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2