NEW YORK -- If Nate Robinson keeps this up, he won't need the slam dunk contest to earn a place at All-Star weekend.
"Krypto-Nate" won his second slam dunk title Saturday night in Phoenix, but sounded lukewarm about the idea of defending his title next year. The way he's playing now, he could end up playing in the game in Dallas.
"That's what I'm trying to get to, but for the most part we're just focused on the playoffs now," Robinson said. "Next year will come."
Robinson made the go-ahead basket in his career-best third straight 30-point game. In the final game before heading to Phoenix to knock off Dwight Howard and win the slam dunk contest, he had 33 points, a career-high 15 assists, nine rebounds and five steals in an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers -- the first NBA player with 30 points plus those numbers since Magic Johnson in 1981.
Chris Duhon and Wilson Chandler each scored 17 points for the Knicks, who snapped a six-game losing streak. They finally broke through against an NBA power, having dropped all three on a homestand against the Lakers, Cavaliers and Celtics in the first week of February.
"The past four teams we played at home have been the best of the best, and to get this victory, start off the second half of the season is big for us and hopefully can help us gain some momentum," Knicks forward David Lee said.
Lee had 13 points and 12 rebounds in his 17th consecutive double-double, tying Patrick Ewing for second-longest streak by a Knicks player since 1970. Jerry Lucas had 21 straight in 1972.
"I was missing layups. I was missing everything tonight," said Parker, whose wife, Eva Longoria, was in the crowd to watch his miserable night. "[Nate] was making shots. He was the opposite of me."
The Spurs were without Manu Ginobili, who was back in San Antonio getting further tests on his sore right ankle. It's not the same one the star reserve had surgery on last summer, forcing him to miss the first 12 games of the season, but coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged being concerned the pain didn't go away during the All-Star break.
They fell to 3-3 on their eight-game rodeo road trip, with two stops remaining. They've never finished with a losing record on it since moving to the AT&T Center in 2002.
In a game that was close throughout, neither team led by more than three in the fourth quarter. Duncan had 13 points and made his first six shots in the period, but missed a potential winning bank shot just before time expired.
"I got some shots to go down and started feeling good about it," Duncan said. "I wish the last one would've gone, too, but such is life."
Robinson then snapped a 104-all tie with a jumper with 2:31 remaining, then sped downcourt to make a layup over Duncan for a 108-104 lead with 1:55 left. Al Harrington's drive gave New York a six-point lead 24 seconds later.
It was Robinson's third straight game leading the Knicks in scoring. He's still best known for his two slam dunk titles, the latter won Saturday when he donned a green uniform and called himself Krypto-Nate to knock off Howard, who wore a Superman cape for the second straight year.
Robinson will be a restricted free agent this summer, making this a perfect time to show he's more than just a showman.
"Nate's a wonderful player," Popovich said. "He's got a lot of athletic ability. But beyond that, he's got a lot of chutzpah. He gets after it."
There were nine lead changes and eight ties in the first half, which ended with the Knicks leading 57-56 after a video review showed Duncan's jumper came after time expired. Robinson had 14 points as the Knicks shot 54.5 percent.
The defenses picked up in the third quarter, with the teams combining to make just 14 of 40 shots. San Antonio had the last two buckets of the period to tie it at 77 heading to the fourth.
Since the Spurs played their final game before the break in Toronto, Popovich decided to skip flying back home to San Antonio in favor of a vacation in New York. He flew here Thursday and was having fun until the NBA schedule got in the way. "It's just great. Just by myself, wandering around. It was fantastic," he said. "Then got to play this game tonight. Could have gone to Broadway again, could have gone to dinner someplace." ... Johnson had 33 points, 17 assists, 15 rebounds and six assists for the Lakers against Denver on March 29, 1981, against Denver.
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