"We're playing pretty good basketball right now. We're a good team," Crawford said following Tuesday night's 107-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Knicks certainly played well in this game, shooting 50 percent and committing only 11 turnovers in handing the Lakers just their seventh loss in 26 home games.
By winning their 23rd game, the Knicks (23-29) matched their victory total of last season with 30 games left.
"It feels good to have 23 wins right now, especially after what we went through last year," said Eddy Curry, who scored New York's last four points including a go-ahead dunk with 7.1 seconds remaining.
Curry's basket with 46.8 seconds left gave the Knicks a 105-104 lead, but Kobe Bryant made a jumper with 29.9 seconds remaining to put the Lakers back on top.
"I had the easy part," Curry said.
The Lakers had plenty of time to go for a winning shot, but Bryant never touched the ball and Lamar Odom's jumper as time expired didn't hit the rim.
"I think all 20,000 people in the building thought Kobe would take that last shot," Crawford said. "We're just glad he didn't."
Bryant said he was "just a decoy" on the final play.
"Lamar had an opportunity to break the guy down, but it just didn't work out," Bryant said.
Said Odom: "It was designed for me to take the ball to the hole. But Stephon Marbury did a good job of stepping up, so I just tried to explore and make a play. I always feel comfortable with the step-back. I think David Lee might have gotten a little piece of it. He's an athletic kid."
Crawford led the Knicks with 24 points. Richardson had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Curry had 19 points and seven rebounds, Channing Frye added 14 points and seven rebounds and Lee scored 12 for New York, which has won three of its last four games.
"He played well," Bryant said of Crawford. "He's a very talented player, and very versatile as far as being able to create for others and shooting the ball himself. He's a good talent."
Bryant led Los Angeles with 31 points and seven rebounds. Maurice Evans had 16 points and Odom had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who lost their season-high fourth straight in their first home game since completing an eight-game road trip.
"The game was won by second-chance opportunities in the last couple minutes of the game, where we didn't capture a rebound," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
New York led 103-102 when Ronny Turiaf drew a charging foul from Stephon Marbury, nullifying a basket. Bryant then made two free throws, giving the Lakers a one-point lead with 59.5 seconds to play, setting the stage for Curry's late heroics.
"Everybody really understands their roles. Isiah makes it really clear what he wants from us," Crawford said, referring to Knicks coach Isiah Thomas.
A 3-pointer by Steve Francis -- his only field goal of the game -- gave the Knicks a 95-91 lead with 6:41 remaining, and prompted an angry response from Jackson, who called a timeout and slammed a wad of paper to the floor.
The Lakers responded, scoring eight straight points for a four-point lead, but a follow shot by Richardson, two free throws by Lee and a putback by Frye put the Knicks back on top 101-99 with 3:09 left.
Crawford's three-point play midway through the third quarter gave the Knicks their first lead at 70-69, and a foul shot by Richardson and four straight points by Marbury made it 78-73. New York led 81-80 entering the final period.
The Knicks won the season series with the Lakers for just the second time in the past 12 years. They won a 99-94 decision in New York on Jan. 30 in a game Bryant sat out after receiving a one-game suspension for elbowing San Antonio's Manu Ginobili in the face. ... Lakers F Luke Walton missed his 10th game and C Kwame Brown missed his 22nd. Both are sidelined with sprained ankles. ... The game was the first for the Lakers at Staples Center since Jan. 28, and the first of four straight home games -- their only home games in February. They played 16 of their first 20 at Staples including a designated road game against the Clippers, and will play 10 of their final 13 at Staples including their second road game against their Los Angeles rivals. ... New York's Malik Rose played in the 1,000th game of his NBA career.
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