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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     NEW YORK         25   36   18   18    97   
     MIAMI            26   24   21   21    92      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   NYK - LATRELL SPREWELL 30, CHARLIE WARD 14, 
                      ALLAN HOUSTON 13
                MIA - EDDIE JONES 24, MALIK ALLEN 17, TRAVIS 
                      BEST 14

HIGH REBOUND:   NYK - KURT THOMAS 12, CLARENCE WEATHERSPOON 
                      11, CHARLIE WARD 4
                MIA - VLADIMIR STEPANIA 8, EDDIE JONES 7, 
                      MALIK ALLEN 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   NYK - CHARLIE WARD 4, LATRELL SPREWELL 4, TWO 
                      PLAYERS WITH 3
                MIA - TRAVIS BEST 5, EDDIE JONES 5, MIKE JAMES
                      5

         ATT:   15,895

Box Score

NEW YORK (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L Sprewell 42 10-20 9-11 0-1 4 2 30 O Harrington 18 1-1 1-2 1-3 0 4 3 K Thomas 39 5-6 0-0 2-12 0 3 10 H Eisley 24 3-6 0-0 0-0 3 1 8 A Houston 27 3-9 6-7 0-0 3 5 13 C Weatherspoon 30 0-0 3-4 2-11 0 2 3 S Anderson 27 2-3 6-7 0-0 0 1 10 C Ward 24 4-8 3-4 0-4 4 5 14 M Doleac 9 2-3 2-2 0-1 0 2 6 T Knight DNP - COACH'S DECISION L Nailon DNP - COACH'S DECISION L Postell DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-56 30-37 5-32 14 25 97 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.536, FT-.811. 3-Point Goals: 7-16, .438 (L Sprewell 1-4, H Eisley 2-5, A Houston 1-1, S Anderson 0-1, C Ward 3-5). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:4 (C Weatherspoon, K Thomas, S Anderson, M Doleac). Turnovers:19 (L Sprewell 4, K Thomas 4, C Ward 3, A Houston 3, C Weatherspoon 2, H Eisley 2, S Anderson). Steals: 2 (C Ward, C Weatherspoon). MIAMI (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp C Butler 41 6-18 0-0 4-5 1 4 12 M Allen 40 7-15 3-3 3-6 0 2 17 B Grant 38 6-7 0-0 0-5 1 5 12 T Best 37 4-7 5-6 1-1 5 3 14 E Jones 38 9-17 3-4 1-7 5 5 24 M James 24 3-12 2-3 1-4 5 4 9 V Stepania 17 2-3 0-0 3-8 0 3 4 R Butler 5 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 L Ellis DNP - COACH'S DECISION A Carter DNP - COACH'S DECISION K Johnson DNP - COACH'S DECISION S Lampley DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-82 13-16 13-36 17 26 92 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.451, FT-.813. 3-Point Goals: 5-14, .357 (C Butler 0-1, T Best 1-2, E Jones 3-5, M James 1-5, R Butler 0-1). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:1 (M Allen). Turnovers:10 (C Butler 3, E Jones 2, M James 2, B Grant, M Allen, V Stepania). Steals: 6 (T Best 2, E Jones 2, M James, C Butler). ------------------------------------------- NEW YORK 25 36 18 18 - 97 MIAMI 26 24 21 21 - 92 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Miami - 2 (Defensive Three, 8:03 1st; Defensive Three, 4:34 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,895. T: 2:23. Officials: Michael Smith, Mike Callahan, Pat Fraher.


Extended Box

NEW YORK (97) AT MIAMI (92) NEW YORK REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === L SPREWELL F 42 10-20 9-11 0 1 1 4 2 0 4 30 O HARRINGTON F 18 1-1 1-2 1 2 3 0 4 0 0 3 K THOMAS C 39 5-6 0-0 2 10 12 0 3 0 4 10 H EISLEY G 24 3-6 0-0 0 0 0 3 1 0 2 8 A HOUSTON G 27 3-9 6-7 0 0 0 3 5 0 3 13 C WEATHERSPOON 30 0-0 3-4 2 9 11 0 2 1 2 3 S ANDERSON 27 2-3 6-7 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 10 C WARD 24 4-8 3-4 0 4 4 4 5 1 3 14 M DOLEAC 9 2-3 2-2 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 6 T KNIGHT DNP - COACH'S DECISION L NAILON DNP - COACH'S DECISION L POSTELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 30-56 30-37 5 27 32 14 25 2 19 97 (.536) (.811) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 20 (20 PTS) MIAMI REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === C BUTLER F 41 6-18 0-0 4 1 5 1 4 1 3 12 M ALLEN F 40 7-15 3-3 3 3 6 0 2 0 1 17 B GRANT C 38 6-7 0-0 0 5 5 1 5 0 1 12 T BEST G 37 4-7 5-6 1 0 1 5 3 2 0 14 E JONES G 38 9-17 3-4 1 6 7 5 5 2 2 24 M JAMES 24 3-12 2-3 1 3 4 5 4 1 2 9 V STEPANIA 17 2-3 0-0 3 5 8 0 3 0 1 4 R BUTLER 5 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 L ELLIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION A CARTER DNP - COACH'S DECISION K JOHNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION S LAMPLEY DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 37-82 13-16 13 23 36 17 26 6 10 92 (.451) (.813) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 12 (11 PTS) NEW YORK 25 36 18 18 - 97 MIAMI 26 24 21 21 - 92 BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW YORK - C WEATHERSPOON, K THOMAS, S ANDERSON, M DOLEAC. MIAMI - M ALLEN. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW YORK 7-16 (.438), L SPREWELL 1-4, H EISLEY 2- 5, A HOUSTON 1-1, S ANDERSON 0-1, C WARD 3-5. MIAMI 5-14 (.357), C BUTLER 0- 1, T BEST 1-2, E JONES 3-5, M JAMES 1-5, R BUTLER 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: MIAMI - DEFENSIVE THREE 2. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: MICHAEL SMITH, MIKE CALLAHAN, PAT FRAHER. A - 15,895. T - 2:23.


Game Story

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Latrell Sprewell scored a season-high 30 points and dished out four assists, but his best play in the New York Knicks' 97-92 victory over the Miami Heat did not earn him a statistic. Sprewell hit Allan Houston with a perfect cross-court pass through Miami's zone defense to set up Houston's assist on Charlie Ward's 3-pointer with 24 seconds left. The shot gave New York a 94-90 lead, and Ward hit 3-of-4 free throws in the closing seconds to seal the victory. "He came out ready to play," Knicks coach Don Chaney said of Sprewell. "He was focused during the shootaround and I liked the carryover. He was definitely ready." Houston, who shot 3-of-9 from the field and scored 13 points, could have had an open look at the basket but passed to Ward, who was all alone near the top of the 3-point arc. "I just didn't want to rush (a shot)," Houston said. "It would have been a rush. If the shot clock had been going down, I probably would have taken it. But the way we got to penetrate and broke the defense, it was a matter of ball movement and Charlie was wide open." The Knicks often have struggled this season to find open shots late in games, and have failed on nearly as many occasions to locate passing lanes to find those shots. "Allan had a shot and could have rushed it, but instead he showed poise and patience," Chaney said. "The next guy in line may have a better shot and I admire him for that because he could have easily pulled up with a guy on him and taken that shot, but instead he passed to an open teammate." The Knicks got the ball for the decisive possession after a controversial play. With the Heat trailing, 91-90, rookie Caron Butler missed a layup. But Knicks center Kurt Thomas struggled to control the rebound and batted at the ball as it went out of bounds. The officals ruled that Thomas deflected the ball off Miami guard Travis Best and awarded the ball to New York with 44 seconds left. Miami coach Pat Riley fumed on the sidelines. "That call tonight with (44) seconds to go, anybody could see it," Riley said. "Not one official saw that ball off Kurt Thomas' hand. That, to me, was not a coincidence." The Heat have lost five consecutive games and are last in the Atlantic Division with a 5-17 record. Miami has attempted an average of 17.9 free throws per game, the fewest in the league behind New York, which averages 20.1 trips to the line. "The officials' hatred for me is absolutely, I think, unjust, for what it's doing to my players," Riley said. "It all started, I think, last year. I sensed something changing when (official) Steve Javie, in Cleveland, to his obvious, absolute delight, as we were getting beat, and going through a real tough time, came to my face after we were having a discussion and said, 'It's giving us absolute delight to watch you and your team die.' I didn't say anything at the time, but we sort of mentioned it to the league office. ... I think it's absolutely spread through the league. I fight hard for my team, and if I think there is injustice, I will stand up." Sprewell scored 11 points during an 18-6 second-quarter run that gave the Knicks a 53-39 lead, their largest of the game. The Knicks shot 12-of-13 from the field in the second quarter. "We talked about it at halftime," Chaney said. "I said look at the percentage and look at the score. That's kind of scary, but it's all about winning the game." The Knicks led 61-50 at halftime on 69 percent shooting. They scored 36 points in the entire second half after scoring 36 in the second quarter. "In the second half, we were not getting the ball into the teeth of their zone," Sprewell said. "Therefore, we were playing into their hands." The final two quarters, in each of which Miami outscored New York 21-18, were reminiscient of the Knicks-Heat rivalry of the 1990s, not just for the controversy, but for the stout defense and physical play by both teams, which combined for 51 fouls. "Normally, back in the day, it'd come down to the last shot," said Knicks center Kurt Thomas, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds. "It was a real intense game."


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