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NBA NEW JERSEY 70 NEW YORK 77 8:44 LEFT, 4TH QTR 9:33PM ET


NEW JERSEY (91) AT NEW YORK (94)

NEW JERSEY REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

GILL F 46 5-11 2-4 1 3 4 3 3 1 1 12 VAN HORN F 41 4-14 5-5 2 7 9 3 3 2 2 14 J WILLIAMS C 14 2-3 1-3 3 1 4 1 1 0 0 5 CASSELL G 39 7-16 5-5 0 3 3 10 5 2 3 19 KITTLES G 40 7-15 3-4 0 6 6 1 4 0 0 17 GATLING 26 6-10 5-9 2 5 7 1 3 3 2 17 CAGE 15 0-0 1-2 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 DOUGLAS 8 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 EVANS 2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 HARRIS 9 1-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 MACLEAN DNP - COACH'S DECISION SEIKALY DNP - BONE CONTUSION RIGHT FOOT

TOTALS 240 33-74 24-34 10 27 37 21 19 8 10 91 (.446) (.706) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 10(13 PTS)

NEW YORK REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

JOHNSON F 39 10-14 3-3 2 5 7 1 4 1 2 23 MILLS F 29 4-10 1-2 2 7 9 1 3 0 0 9 OAKLEY C 38 5-11 3-4 7 9 16 2 4 1 4 13 HOUSTON G 37 7-15 5-5 0 3 3 3 4 1 0 20 WARD G 31 3-7 4-4 1 1 2 8 4 2 1 10 STARKS 30 2-15 2-2 0 5 5 2 3 0 1 8 CUMMINGS 19 2-4 2-2 1 2 3 2 3 0 2 6 THOMPSON 17 2-4 0-0 0 0 0 6 4 1 1 5 BOWIE DNP - COACH'S DECISION CHILDS DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION H WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 35-80 20-22 13 32 45 25 29 6 11 94 (.438) (.909) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 11(6 PTS)

NEW JERSEY 20 23 23 25 - 91 NEW YORK 23 27 20 24 - 94

BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW JERSEY - GILL, CAGE. NEW YORK - WARD 2, MILLS, CUMMINGS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW JERSEY 1-10 (.100), GILL 0-2, VAN HORN 1-4, KITTLES 0-3, EVANS 0-1. NEW YORK 4-16 (.250), MILLS 0-1, HOUSTON 1-5, WARD 0-1, STARKS 2-7, THOMPSON 1-2. TECHNICALS: NEW YORK - JOHNSON. OFFICIALS: ED F RUSH, BLANE REICHELT, JIM CAPERS. A - 19,763. T - 2:18.


NEW JERSEY (91) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gill 46 5-11 2-4 1-4 3 3 12 Van Horn 41 4-14 5-5 2-9 3 3 14 J Williams 14 2-3 1-3 3-4 1 1 5 Cassell 39 7-16 5-5 0-3 10 5 19 Kittles 40 7-15 3-4 0-6 1 4 17 Gatling 26 6-10 5-9 2-7 1 3 17 Cage 15 0-0 1-2 2-3 0 0 1 Douglas 8 1-3 0-0 0-0 2 0 2 Evans 2 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Harris 9 1-1 2-2 0-0 0 0 4 Maclean DNP - coach's decision Seikaly DNP - bone contusion right foot _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-74 24-34 10-37 21 19 91 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.446, FT-.706. 3-Point Goals: 1-10, .100 (Gill 0-2, Van Horn 1-4, Kittles 0-3, Evans 0-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 2 (Gill, Cage). Turnovers: 10 (Cassell 3, Gatling 2, Van Horn 2, Douglas, Evans, Gill). Steals: 8 (Gatling 3, Cassell 2, Van Horn 2, Gill).

NEW YORK (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Johnson 39 10-14 3-3 2-7 1 4 23 Mills 29 4-10 1-2 2-9 1 3 9 Oakley 38 5-11 3-4 7-16 2 4 13 Houston 37 7-15 5-5 0-3 3 4 20 Ward 31 3-7 4-4 1-2 8 4 10 Starks 30 2-15 2-2 0-5 2 3 8 Cummings 19 2-4 2-2 1-3 2 3 6 Thompson 17 2-4 0-0 0-0 6 4 5 Bowie DNP - coach's decision Childs DNP - sprained left ankle Davis DNP - coach's decision H Williams DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-80 20-22 13-45 25 29 94 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.438, FT-.909. 3-Point Goals: 4-16, .250 (Mills 0-1, Houston 1-5, Ward 0-1, Starks 2-7, Thompson 1-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Ward 2, Mills, Cummings). Turnovers: 11 (Oakley 4, Cummings 2, Johnson 2, Starks, Thompson, Ward). Steals: 6 (Ward 2, Houston, Johnson, Oakley, Thompson). ____________________________________________ New Jersey 20 23 23 25 - 91 New York 23 27 20 24 - 94 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: New York 1 (Johnson, 1:17 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,763. T: 2:18. Officials: Ed F Rush, Blane Reichelt, Jim Capers.


GAME RECAP

Charles Oakley scored eight of his 13 points in a decisive fourth-quarter run and Charlie Ward sank two clutch free throws with six seconds left as the New York Knicks hung on for their third straight victory, 94-91 over the New Jersey Nets.

Oakley, who also grabbed 16 rebounds, had three baskets and two free throws in a 10-5 spurt that turned a one-point deficit into a 90-86 lead with 2:08 to play. After the Nets closed within one point, Ward drew a foul on a drive and sank both shots for a 94-91 lead.

"He was just a monster on the boards, and then there he is, he's struggling along," Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy said of Oakley. "He's missing in the first half, and when you need makes, he makes."

New Jersey's Keith Van Horn missed badly on a three-pointer as New York escaped with its second win over its cross-river rivals in three meetings this season.

Larry Johnson scored 23 points and Allan Houston added 20 for the Knicks, who are 9-2 since the All-Star break and moved 2 1/2 games ahead of the third-place Nets in the Atlantic Division.

Sam Cassell scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Chris Gatling and Kerry Kittles added 17 apiece for the Nets, who suffered their third straight bitter loss to a division rival. Over the weekend, they lost a pair of games to the first-place Miami Heat by a combined three points.

"We came out with a lot of energy," Knicks guard John Starks said. "The last two games we played against them, they got on top becuase we weren't matching the energy. These types of games build character. We have to execute, make free throws and dig for loose balls. these are the types of games you want to be in as a player."

The setback was a costly one for the Nets, who lost All-Star center Jayson Williams to a rib injury in the third quarter. Williams is second in the NBA in rebounding at 13.8 per game.

"We won't know until (Wednesday)," Williams said. "I did something to my ab (abdominal muscle). It felt like my rib was bleeding or something. I tried to keep going on three or four different times and I just couldn't do it. I thought that I could always play through it but I never knew your ab muscle was needed to run so much."

"We don't have any excuses," Nets coach John Calipari said. "Jayson was out, but are you supposed to quit playing? He wanted to play and he got mad at me. But I said, 'Look, I care too much about you to let you hurt yourself.'"

New Jersey trailed 70-66 entering the final period, but Cassell scored six points in a 15-5 burst, including a layup for an 81-80 lead with 6:20 remaining.

But the Knicks and Oakley immediately responded. He sank a pair of 17-footers around a layup and his two free throws gave the Knicks a four-point lead. Kendall Gill hit a fallaway jumper to cut the deficit to 90-88 with 1:15 remaining, but had a three-pointer partially blocked by Houston on the next trip.

"Earlier in the season, we went through a stretch where we had five games that were determined in the last 30 seconds and we are learning how to win games in situational play," Houston said.

John Starks made two free throws with 31 seconds left to restore New York's four-point bulge. Cassell, who scored a career-high 34 points but missed a buzzer shot in an overtime loss at New York on January 7th, scored on a drive and was fouled. His free throw made it 92-91 with 27 seconds remaining.

After Ward's free throws, Cassell dribbled for several seconds at the top of the circle before passing to the left wing to Van Horn, whose shot off a screen was not close and the rebound was knocked out of bounds as time expired.

"I was guarded," the 6-10 Van Horn said. "I had two guys on me, running at me, but I had to take the shot. There was no other choice. It's a shot that you have to take. Unfortunately, it didn't go in."

"Actually, you know what? Probable foul in that situation from now on," Van Gundy said. "I saw the flight of that ball and it didn't look good to me. We contested, but he's big and he can get it over the top. So we'll have to do a better job in defending late-game situations."

Ward had 10 points and eight assists for the Knicks, who shot 44 percent (35-of-80) from the field and held a 45-37 rebounding advantage. Chris Mills added nine points and nine rebounds.

"They're a young team and they weren't making a lot of outside shots," Knicks forward Terry Cummings said. "When we got in trouble, we weren't playing great help defense. When we shut down the drives and forced them to take crazy shots, that puts a lot of pressure on them."

Van Horn scored 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting and Gill added 12 for the Nets, who made 45 percent (33-of-74) of their shots, including just 1-of-10 from three-point range. Cassell handed out 10 assists.

"There were just a few plays here and there where we broke down," Calipari said. "You can't do that in these types of games."

Johnson scored eight points and Houston seven as the Knicks took a 23-20 lead after one quarter. Johnson added five more in a 7-2 spurt that gave New York its largest lead of the first half, 46-36, with 3:07 to go in the second period.

But the Nets closed to 50-43 at halftime, then opened the third quarter with a 9-2 run, forging a 52-52 tie on a three-pointer by Van Horn with 9:23 remaining.

Dunks by Johnson, Mills and Houston highlighted an 18-6 spurt as the Knicks built a 70-58 lead with just under three minutes left in the period. But New York went cold, as New Jersey closed the quarter with eight straight points.

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