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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- NEW YORK 19 21 14 25 79 ATLANTA 21 20 26 25 92 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: NYK - ALLAN HOUSTON 24, LARRY JOHNSON 12, CHARLES OAKLEY 10 ATL - STEVE SMITH 24, ALAN HENDERSON 20, DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 17


Box Score

NEW YORK (79) AT ATLANTA (92)

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

MILLS F 27 3-9 2-2 4 4 8 3 4 0 0 9 JOHNSON F 37 5-15 2-2 0 3 3 4 4 0 2 12 OAKLEY C 34 5-12 0-0 2 6 8 2 6 0 1 10 HOUSTON G 37 10-16 3-3 0 1 1 4 4 3 0 24 WARD G 25 2-8 1-2 0 3 3 4 1 0 2 7 STARKS 27 1-5 0-0 1 3 4 2 2 0 0 3 BOWIE 7 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 CUMMINGS 21 5-11 0-0 3 5 8 1 5 0 2 10 CHILDS 23 2-4 0-0 0 2 2 5 3 0 0 4 H WILLIAMS 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION THOMPSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-82 8-9 10 27 37 25 31 3 7 79 (.402) (.889) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 7(7 PTS)

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

HENDERSON F 34 8-12 4-6 2 4 6 0 3 0 3 20 CORBIN F 42 3-9 3-4 0 8 8 3 2 1 0 9 MUTOMBO C 42 3-9 11-16 7 12 19 0 1 0 0 17 SMITH G 40 8-17 8-10 1 4 5 3 4 1 2 24 BLAYLOCK G 44 7-15 2-4 0 5 5 5 0 2 0 17 LAETTNER 16 2-4 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 0 0 4 BROWN 5 0-1 1-4 1 1 2 0 4 0 0 1 RECASNER 15 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 MILLER 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 ANDERSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION BARRY DNP - COACH'S DECISION CRAWFORD DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-71 29-44 12 35 47 13 17 4 5 92 (.437) (.659) TEAM REBS: 14 TOTAL TO: 6(13 PTS)

NEW YORK 19 21 14 25 - 79 ATLANTA 21 20 26 25 - 92

BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW YORK - MILLS 2, HOUSTON, WARD, CHILDS. ATLANTA - MUTOMBO 6, HENDERSON, SMITH. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW YORK 5-11 (.455), MILLS 1-3, HOUSTON 1-2, WARD 2-3, STARKS 1-2, CHILDS 0-1. ATLANTA 1-12 (.083), CORBIN 0-2, SMITH 0-3, BLAYLOCK 1-5, RECASNER 0-2. TECHNICALS: NEW YORK - CHILDS, ATLANTA - ILLEGAL DEFENSE, SMITH. OFFICIALS: RON GARRETSON, ED MIDDLETON, MONTY MCCUTCHEN. A - 17,702. T - 2:21.


Agate Box Score

NEW YORK (79) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mills 27 3-9 2-2 4-8 3 4 9 Johnson 37 5-15 2-2 0-3 4 4 12 Oakley 34 5-12 0-0 2-8 2 6 10 Houston 37 10-16 3-3 0-1 4 4 24 Ward 25 2-8 1-2 0-3 4 1 7 Starks 27 1-5 0-0 1-4 2 2 3 Bowie 7 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Cummings 21 5-11 0-0 3-8 1 5 10 Childs 23 2-4 0-0 0-2 5 3 4 H Williams 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Davis DNP - coach's decision Thompson DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-82 8-9 10-37 25 31 79 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.402, FT-.889. 3-Point Goals: 5-11, .455 (Mills 1-3, Houston 1-2, Ward 2-3, Starks 1-2, Childs 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 5 (Mills 2, Houston, Ward, Childs). Turnovers: 7 (Cummings 2, Johnson 2, Ward 2, Oakley). Steals: 3 (Houston 3).

ATLANTA (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Henderson 34 8-12 4-6 2-6 0 3 20 Corbin 42 3-9 3-4 0-8 3 2 9 Mutombo 42 3-9 11-16 7-19 0 1 17 Smith 40 8-17 8-10 1-5 3 4 24 Blaylock 44 7-15 2-4 0-5 5 0 17 Laettner 16 2-4 0-0 1-2 1 1 4 Brown 5 0-1 1-4 1-2 0 4 1 Recasner 15 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 Miller 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Anderson DNP - coach's decision Barry DNP - coach's decision Crawford DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-71 29-44 12-47 13 17 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.437, FT-.659. 3-Point Goals: 1-12, .083 (Corbin 0-2, Smith 0-3, Blaylock 1-5, Recasner 0-2). Team rebounds: 14. Blocked shots: 8 (Mutombo 6, Henderson, Smith). Turnovers: 6 (Henderson 3, Smith 2). Steals: 4 (Blaylock 2, Corbin, Smith). ____________________________________________ New York 19 21 14 25 - 79 Atlanta 21 20 26 25 - 92 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: New York 1 (Childs, 10:09 4th). Atlanta 2 (Illegal Defense, 2:05 2nd; Smith, 10:09 4th). Flagrant fouls: New York 1 (Oakley, 3:23 2nd). A: 17,702. T: 2:21. Officials: Ron Garretson, Ed Middleton, Monty Mccutchen.


Game Recap

Dikembe Mutombo scored 17 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and blocked six shots to help the Atlanta Hawks clinch a playoff berth with a 92-79 victory over the reeling New York Knicks, who lost for the fifth time in six games.

The Hawks (45-30), who had lost five of seven previous meetings with the Knicks, clinched their sixth consecutive playoff berth. They moved within two games of Charlotte for fourth place in the Eastern Conference and homecourt advantage in the first round.

"It was a very physical game, like we anticipated," Atlanta coach Lenny Wilkens said. "The biggest thing is to keep your presence of mind and play the game and let the officials do their job.

"I thought Dikembe was just a monster defensively. He really helped us close down the inside and blocked a lot of shots. He intimidated them so they couldn't get easy looks. I was really pleased with how we played. Just because we clinched we don't pause, we keep going tomorrow and focus on our next game. That's what you have to do."

New York (41-36), which dropped its fourth straight road game, saw its lead over eighth-seeded New Jersey (39-36) shrink to one game with five to play.

Steve Smith returned from a four-game absence due to a sore right knee and scored 24 points and Alan Henderson added 20 for Atlanta, which won for the ninth time in its last 11 home games. With 17,702 fans at the Georgia Dome, the Hawks set a franchise attendance record of 648,561, surpassing the 644,291 during the 1988-89 season.

"I felt pretty good and it was good to play the Knicks, because coming off an injury you don't have time to think against a tean like that," Smith said. "You just have to go out there and play. The win tonight makes me feel better."

Allan Houston scored 24 points and Larry Johnson added 12 for New York, which was outrebounded 47-37 and dropped to 15-24 on the road.

The Knicks made just 8-of-9 free throws while the Hawks sank 29-of-44. New York shot 40 percent (33-for-82) from the field and Atlanta 44 percent (31-for-71), but the Knicks were 5-of-11 from three-point range and the Hawks just 1-of-12.

"We played hard but it's not about playing hard, you have to play well," New York coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "In some areas we played well but in areas you have to play well in to win the game, such as rebounding, we did not play well.

"We just couldn't get it done. We missed critical rebounds, and other than Allan, we struggled to put the ball in the basket. You've got to find ways to win. That's what the game is all about."

Houston scored 14 points in the first half to pull the Knicks within 41-40 at the break, and New York grabbed a 44-43 lead with 8:59 left in the third quarter after Chris Mills sank a layup.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Atlanta put together a 10-0 spurt to regain the lead for good. Henderson opened the burst with a layup at 8:16 to make it 45-44 and a pair of free throws by Mutombo capped it, moving Atlanta to a 53-44 advantage.

Henderson and Mookie Blaylock -- who hit a 60-footer on the last shot of the quarter -- each scored eight points in the period, helping the Hawks carry a 67-54 lead into the final 12 minutes.

"In the second half, for the past two weeks, when teams make runs at us, we're not as physical or as aggressive as we need to be to get a stop or make a run back at them," said Chris Childs. "Right now we're trying to get ready for the playoffs, or even make the playoffs. Coming out in the third quarter we have to muster up the energy to put teams away. Atlanta was ripe for the picking, but it just didn't happen."

After Corbin hit a drive down the baseline to give Atlanta an 80-66 lead with 6:30 remaining, New York responded with a 10-2 run. Charles Oakley had eight of his 10 points during the spurt, including a jumper at the 2:09 mark to pull New York within 82-76.

Henderson then hit a follow shot off a missed jumper by Blaylock and Mutombo rejected Johnson at the other end, leading to a pair of free throws by Smith to move the Hawks ahead 86-76 with just 1:15 left. The Knicks could only manage three free throws down the stretch.

"We wanted to clinch a playoff spot," Mutombo said. "Still, I'm just glad we were able to come up with this win. I felt that I could come out and contribute offensively. I wanted to play smart, stay focused and win the game."

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