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NBA FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH OT TOTAL --- --- --- --- --- ----- NEW YORK 25 25 24 17 5 96 ATLANTA 25 25 19 22 7 98 FINAL IN 1ST OT

HIGH SCORERS: NYK - ALLAN HOUSTON 22, LATRELL SPREWELL 21, CHARLIE WARD 16 ATL - ISAIAH RIDER 22, DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 18, ALAN HENDERSON 16

HIGH REBOUND: NYK - PATRICK EWING 15, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6 ATL - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 24, THREE PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: NYK - CHARLIE WARD 6, THREE PLAYERS WITH 2 ATL - JASON TERRY 4, THREE PLAYERS WITH 3

ATT: 18,596


Extended Box

NEW YORK (96) AT ATLANTA (98) - FINAL IN OT

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

L JOHNSON F 34 4-10 0-0 2 4 6 2 3 1 1 8 SPREWELL F 46 7-19 5-7 1 4 5 1 2 1 2 21 EWING C 39 4-15 2-2 4 11 15 0 5 1 2 10 HOUSTON G 39 8-17 4-6 0 6 6 2 3 2 1 22 WARD G 44 6-13 1-1 0 2 2 6 1 4 2 16 CAMBY 14 1-3 3-4 1 2 3 0 6 0 0 5 WALLACE 12 4-4 2-2 0 2 2 0 1 0 2 10 DUDLEY 9 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 THOMAS 23 2-3 0-0 0 3 3 2 1 0 1 4 BRUNSON 5 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 CHILDS DNP - ACHILLES STRAIN TURKCAN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 265 36-84 17-24 8 35 43 14 24 9 11 96 (.429) (.708) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 12(12 PTS)

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

HENDERSON F 48 6-13 4-4 4 3 7 0 3 1 1 16 JACKSON F 42 5-20 1-1 2 5 7 3 3 0 1 13 MUTOMBO C 43 4-10 10-12 13 11 24 2 4 1 4 18 COLES G 32 6-12 2-2 0 0 0 3 3 3 3 14 RIDER G 43 6-25 8-8 0 7 7 3 3 0 2 22 TERRY 21 4-6 0-0 2 1 3 4 1 0 1 10 ELLIS 21 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 0 3 WRIGHT 15 1-3 0-0 0 5 5 0 4 2 2 2 BOWDLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION CRAWFORD DNP - COACH'S DECISION MCLEOD DNP - COACH'S DECISION JOHNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 265 33-93 25-27 22 34 56 16 21 7 14 98 (.355) (.926) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 14(20 PTS)

NEW YORK 25 25 24 17 5 - 96 ATLANTA 25 25 19 22 7 - 98

BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW YORK - EWING 2, CAMBY. ATLANTA - MUTOMBO 4, JACKSON, HENDERSON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW YORK 7-15 (.467), L JOHNSON 0-1, SPREWELL 2-4, HOUSTON 2-3, WARD 3-7. ATLANTA 7-13 (.538), JACKSON 2-5, RIDER 2-5, TERRY 2-2, ELLIS 1-1. TECHNICALS: ATLANTA - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 2. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, RON OLESIAK, PHIL ROBINSON. A - 18,596. T - 2:48.


Box Score

NEW YORK (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L Johnson 34 4-10 0-0 2-6 2 3 8 Sprewell 46 7-19 5-7 1-5 1 2 21 Ewing 39 4-15 2-2 4-15 0 5 10 Houston 39 8-17 4-6 0-6 2 3 22 Ward 44 6-13 1-1 0-2 6 1 16 Camby 14 1-3 3-4 1-3 0 6 5 Wallace 12 4-4 2-2 0-2 0 1 10 Dudley 9 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Thomas 23 2-3 0-0 0-3 2 1 4 Brunson 5 0-0 0-2 0-0 1 1 0 Childs DNP - achilles strain Turkcan DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 265 36-84 17-24 8-43 14 24 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.429, FT-.708. 3-Point Goals: 7-15, .467 (L Johnson 0-1, Sprewell 2-4, Houston 2-3, Ward 3-7). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 3 (Ewing 2, Camby). Turnovers: 12 (Ewing 2, Sprewell 2, Wallace 2, Ward 2, Houston, L Johnson, Thomas). Steals: 9 (Ward 4, Houston 2, Ewing, L Johnson, Sprewell).

ATLANTA (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Henderson 48 6-13 4-4 4-7 0 3 16 Jackson 42 5-20 1-1 2-7 3 3 13 Mutombo 43 4-10 10-12 13-24 2 4 18 Coles 32 6-12 2-2 0-0 3 3 14 Rider 43 6-25 8-8 0-7 3 3 22 Terry 21 4-6 0-0 2-3 4 1 10 Ellis 21 1-4 0-0 1-3 1 0 3 Wright 15 1-3 0-0 0-5 0 4 2 Bowdler DNP - coach's decision Crawford DNP - coach's decision Mcleod DNP - coach's decision Johnson DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 265 33-93 25-27 22-56 16 21 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.355, FT-.926. 3-Point Goals: 7-13, .538 (Jackson 2-5, Rider 2-5, Terry 2-2, Ellis 1-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 6 (Mutombo 4, Jackson, Henderson). Turnovers: 14 (Mutombo 4, Coles 3, Rider 2, Wright 2, Henderson, Jackson, Terry). Steals: 7 (Coles 3, Wright 2, Henderson, Mutombo). _________________________________________________ New York 25 25 24 17 5 - 96 Atlanta 25 25 19 22 7 - 98 _________________________________________________ Technical fouls: Atlanta 2 (Illegal Defense 2, 7:34 2nd, 11:32 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,596. T: 2:48. Officials: Dan Crawford, Ron Olesiak, Phil Robinson.


Game Story

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Whenever Allan Houston steps to the foul line in the final seconds, a good shooter goes inexplicably bad.

Houston missed another clutch free throw with 2.9 seconds left in overtime, costing the New York Knicks a chance to tie and giving the Atlanta Hawks a 98-96 victory.

"I don't know if I rushed it or whatever. I'm a great free-throw shooter and I've got to make those," Houston said. "It's very disappointing, but you live to survive another day."

Isaiah Rider's two free throws with 8.2 seconds left gave the Hawks a 97-95 lead and Alan Henderson blocked Latrell Sprewell's shot. But Atlanta's Dikembe Mutombo missed 1-of-2 foul shots with 3.9 seconds to go, giving the Knicks a chance to tie.

Houston was fouled by Alan Henderson attempting a game-tying 3-pointer and went to the line. The 83 percent foul shooter made the first but misfired on the second, forcing him to intentionally miss the third. Rider corraled the loose ball and dribbled the clock out for the win.

In back-to-back games in December, Houston missed a crucial free throw in an 80-78 loss to Denver and a pair that nearly cost the Knicks a win over Golden State.

Rider scored 22 points on just 6-of-25 shooting but redeemed himself with the game on the line. Mutombo added 18 points and 24 rebounds, includind a career-high 13 off the offensive glass for the Hawks, who were facing the Knicks for the first time since being swept in the conference semifinals last season.

In that series, Knicks fans invaded Atlanta and made New York feel right at home. It was more of the same tonight as film director and avid Knicks fan Spike Lee was among the many who were chanting "Let's go Knicks" in Philips Arena.

"You play bad offense, you play good defense, usually you can hang in the game," Rider said. "There's not too many nights where me and Jimmy (Jackson) are both struggling and we still win. I think it was a good defensive effort. Dikembe did a great job inside. He controlled the game, at least three-fourths of the game. He was probably the biggest reason why we won."

Jackson suffered through a 5-of-20 shooting performance and finished with 13 points.

"I think our guys learned that they can play some defense, and that's what we've been pushing for," Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We can't outscore everybody, but we can sure as hell defend. All that I'm going to do is let our play on the floor speak for itself. We beat a very good team tonight. They're deep, they're veterans, they've played together for a few years, and that's a good win."

The Hawks appeared to be in control in regulation, leading 91-89 with 18 seconds left in regulation and owning possession. But Rick Brunson, who was activated from the injured list earlier in the day due to Chris Childs' sore Achilles tendon, batted the inbounds pass to Patrick Ewing, who fed a streaking Sprewell for a driving layup over Henderson, tying the game with 12.8 seconds left.

Jason Terry, misfired on a 20-footer to give New York a chance to win with 4.9 seconds remaining. But Houston missed a pull-up jumper from the left wing, sending the game into overtime.

"It was a clean shot but it just didn't go in," Terry said. "I think we know we can't afford to lose any tough, close games, and right now, we're just trying to turn that corner. The team is getting back to where it should be."

Henderson had 16 points and Bimbo Coles contributed 14 for the Hawks, who compensated for 36 percent shooting (33-of-93) by making 25-of-27 free throws.

Houston finished with 22 points to lead the Knicks and Sprewell added 21. Charlie Ward had 16 points, but only three after the first half. New York shot 43 percent (36-of-84) from the floor and were outrebounded 56-43, including 22-9 on the offensive boards.

Knicks center Patrick Ewing reached the 23,000-point plateau with a patented left baseline jumper early in the fourth quarter. He finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Earlier today, Atlanta activated forward Roshown McLeod from the injured lis. McLeod suited up tonight after missing 23 games with a strained groin but did not play.

The teams were deadlocked at 25-25 after 12 minutes and remained tied 50-50 at halftime. New York led 74-69 entering the fourth quarter.

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