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Curry's career-high 36 lifts Knicks past Bucks

Dec 10, 2006 - 3:24 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Eddy Curry is giving the fans at Madison Square Garden something to do besides boo.

Curry scored a career-high 36 points, including a basket in a decisive late run, as the New York Knicks registered a rare home win with a 115-107 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jamal Crawford scored 25 points and Nate Robinson added 22 for the Knicks, who shot a blistering 56 percent (50-of-89) from the field but still had some anxious moments before improving to just 3-8 at "The World's Most Famous Arena."

With their exorbitant payroll of mismatched players, the Knicks have heard it from the home crowd on several occasions this season. The players have been booed countless times, and coach Isiah Thomas was serenaded during Wednesday's loss to Washington.

One player who has not incurred the wrath of the fans of late is Curry, who is in the best stretch of his career. Saturday's performance was his ninth straight 20-point game and he fell one rebound shy of his fourth straight double-double.

"In the league, it's hard to stay on a roll like this because you score 20 a couple of games and the whole defensive scheme changes," Curry said. "To do it for how long I've done it, it definitely means a lot to me."

"He has a great understanding as to what's happening in the post and to what's happening to his body," Thomas said. "You have to give (assistant) Mark Aguirre a lot of credit for what he's been able to do with Eddy inside in terms of understanding where the ball's going to be, the use of his body. The thing that you see now that wasn't there before is his patience in the post. He's extremely patient in the post."

Curry abused Bucks centers Andrew Bogut and Dan Gadzuric, making 17-of-24 shots and opening the floor for teammates with his dominance of the low post. At one point in the third quarter, the fans began to chant, "Ed-dy! Ed-dy!"

"That's definitely a change, especially here in the Garden," Curry said. "It's a good change, though. Hopefully we can get more of that."

Curry's teammates noticed as well.

"He deserved it and it's good to see the fans still support us," Crawford said. "They're still out there every night and hopefully we can build on it.

"I was happy for him. He deserved it," Knicks swingman Quentin Richardson said. "He took a lot of beatings from them thus far. So I was glad to see them noticing."

Curry was somewhat quiet in the fourth quarter, when Milwaukee cut a 16-point deficit to 104-101 on a layup by Michael Redd with 3:45 to play. But instead of wilting, New York responded with an 8-3 spurt that was highlighted by Curry's hook that made it 112-104 with 54 seconds to go.

"Eddy Curry was a monster," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "He gets in deep, he finished around the paint. ... His presence set up everything. It set up the 3-point shots, it set up the penetration. The game he was having just helped everybody."

Richardson had 14 points and 10 rebounds and David Lee added 12 and 13 for the Knicks, who held a 46-35 advantage on the glass. Crawford and Stephon Marbury had nine assists each.

Mo Williams had 33 points and nine assists and Charlie Villanueva scored 24 points for Milwaukee, which shot 52 percent (46-of-89) but had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Marbury hurt his left wrist in the third quarter and and did not return. He was not needed as Curry scored 14 points in the period, helping the Knicks open a 95-78 lead.

"I knew I had a lot," Curry said. "I kept scoring the ball, maybe four or five straight times I scored. I knew it was a lot. I didn't know how much, though."

"He's a load," Williams said. "He gets great position and once he gets that position, he uses that body real well. It's tough for a lot of guys that say they can guard him. I don't care who you are."

The Knicks held a 29-26 lead after the first quarter, which was a shootout between Crawford (4-of-5, 11 points) and Williams (5-of-6, 13 points). Curry's 18 first-half points helped New York maintain the lead at 59-56.

"The way they were playing me, I really didn't have to do much except catch the ball and put it off the glass," Curry said. "It made my job a lot easier."

"He is a monster and he's really coming into his own right now," Crawford said. "You know he could do it but before he would kind of fade out. Now he's doing it all the time."

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