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Curry helps Knicks rout Celtics, snap losing streak

Nov 25, 2006 - 3:12 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- Al Jefferson's weight loss became Eddy Curry's gain.

Curry had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Steve Francis scored 22 points as the New York Knicks dominated the paint in a 101-77 victory over the Boston Celtics.

David Lee collected 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, who shot 50 percent (34-of-68) from the field and snapped a three-game losing streak.

"I really thought it was the way we moved the ball and the way that we attacked inside. I thought Steve was great with directing the basketball," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "Eddy got going and we were patient with our inside play. We kept putting the ball inside to Channing (Frye) and Eddy and that opened up driving lanes."

With Celtics center Kendrick Perkins in foul trouble, Jefferson had to defend the massive Curry. However, Jefferson lost 10 pounds after undergoing an appendectomy earlier this season and could not deal with the 6-11, 300-pound Curry, who made 8-of-12 shots in perhaps his best game of the season.

"I was really looking to get going and my teammates were really persistent in trying to give me the ball in positions were I could score," Curry said. "It worked out good for us and we had a nice win."

In his return to the starting lineup, Francis shot 3-of-8 from the floor and 15-of-15 from the line. He and his backcourt mates got into the lane at will as the Knicks nailed 29-of-39 foul shots.

Francis agreed to come off the bench and did so as Jamal Crawford started Wednesday in Minnesota. However, Crawford struggled and Francis returned to his starting role Friday.

"I just want to stay alert and continue to help this team win," Francis said.

Wally Sczcerbiak scored 16 points for the Celtics, who shot just 38 percent (29-of-76) and were outrebounded, 48-30. Boston also was bothered by New York's zone defense.

"I think the defense they played, some of the shots presented themselves and we took them, but we should have moved the ball around a little bit more and try to get a better shot," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "The defense they played made us take jump shots and not really attack the basket like we did in the first game."

Celtics All-Star swingman Paul Pierce was limited to 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting.

"I think it was both ends of the court, I think we let our offense really dictate our defense and we got frustrated with the zone, with the calls," Pierce said. "It affected us on both ends of the court and took us totally out of sync and we just didn't rebound from that."

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