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Knicks blow 18-point lead, beat Mavs in OT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Playing their second game in two nights and
forced into overtime after blowing an 18-point lead, the New York
Knicks were in need of some energy.

It came from the oldest player on the team.

Antonio Davis had four points and three rebounds in overtime,
while playing tough defense on Dirk Nowitzki, and the Knicks beat
the Dallas Mavericks 117-115 on Wednesday night for their fifth
straight win.

"I think they understand how much I care about this team and
how badly I want to win," the 37-year-old Davis said. "I don't
want to open the papers and see the position that we're in, and a
lot of times you have to know your role. You have to know what you
can do and what you can't do. And what I can do is I can defend a
guy and I can rebound.

"When they see me running after a rebound, or something like
that, they really understand what this game is all about."

Stephon Marbury scored 28 points, Jamal Crawford added 25 points
and Eddy Curry had 21 for the Knicks, who beat one of the NBA's top
teams for the second time in two nights and have won five in a row
for the first time since Jan. 30-Feb 8, 2004.

"The way we're approaching the game is totally different,"
Marbury said. "We have a lot of confidence. We know we're going to
win."

New York led by at least eight points from midway through the
first quarter until early in the fourth, but was forced to overtime
after shooting only 7-of-21 (33 percent) in the final period.

Nowitzki had 32 points for the Mavericks, who had their
three-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Knicks for the
first time in eight games.

Curry converted a three-point play after grabbing an offensive
rebound, giving the Knicks a 110-109 lead with 3:12 remaining in
overtime. Davis' follow pushed the lead to three before Nowitzki
hit a 3-pointer to tie it for the final time.

Davis made two free throws with 1:27 to go to give the Knicks a
114-112, then he pressured Nowitzki into a tough miss on the other
end. Crawford made three free throws from there.

"I think Tony's played him a lot," Knicks coach Larry Brown
said. "For the most part he did a tremendous job on him."

Ahead by 18 points in the first half, the Knicks were still up
by four until Devin Harris scored on a drive, forced Marbury into
an offensive foul on the other end, and Jason Terry knocked down a
jumper to tie it at 101.

After Marbury was called for traveling, Nowitzki's jumper with
1½ minutes gave Dallas its first lead since it was 7-6. Curry's
follow dunk tied it at 103, and Marbury answered Terry's drive with
two free throws to keep it tied with 27 seconds to play.

Nowitzki missed two chances after that, including a 3-pointer
just before the buzzer.

"I want to take that one back at the end of regulation that I
missed," Nowitzki said. "I kind of rushed that one when the score
was tied."

Terry scored 20 points and Josh Howard had 18 for Dallas. Harris
had 15 and Jerry Stackhouse 12 off the bench.

Playing one night after winning at Cleveland, the Knicks seized
control minutes into the game. A 17-4 run turned a three-point
deficit into a 21-11 lead, and New York led 35-21 at the end of the
first period. Marbury and Curry each scored 10 points in the
Knicks' highest-scoring first quarter of the season.

"They were the aggressors in the first half. We really didn't
get off the bus," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We've got
some lethargic situations here that I've got to address. It's
really disappointing. Just got to crack the whip a little bit."

Maurice Taylor's basket pushed the lead to 40-22 less than a
minute into the second quarter, and the Knicks were ahead 63-48 at
halftime.

Game notes
Brown wore a Mark Messier jersey during his pregame and
postgame remarks to the media. The New York Rangers plan to retire
Messier's No. 11 Thursday night. "He's always been someone
everybody mentions as a special player," said Brown, who said he
is a hockey fan. ... Marbury has made 18 consecutive free throws
over the last three games. ... The Knicks and Mavs have the
league's two highest payrolls, and there was plenty of money on the
sidelines, too: Dallas owner Mark Cuban and Donald Trump were both
at the game. ... The Knicks were 31-of-33 (94 percent) from the
free throw line and outrebounded the Mavericks 54-37.