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Korver shoots down Knicks with career-high performance

Feb 22, 2007 - 4:51 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Kyle Korver's sweet stroke brought the New York Knicks back to earth.

Korver tied his career high with 31 points and Andre Miller added 19 and five assists as the Philadelphia 76ers outworked the sluggish Knicks to post a 104-84 victory.

With their players and coaches talking about a possible playoff spot after Tuesday's win over Orlando, the Knicks came out energized, scoring the first eight points of the game. But their performance peaked right there in a disappointing defeat.

"There is a barrier that we're hesitant to cross," New York coach Isiah Thomas said. "It almost like we're afraid to succeed and we're afraid to push through. It's very disappointing. We got to get them to push through from where they are right now. It has nothing to with playing basketball. It's the mental challenge of crossing that barrier and accepting the challenge to become good."

New York was routed for the second time this season at the Wachovia Center. The Knicks also followed an impressive home win over Chicago on December 22 with a 98-77 loss against the 76ers one night later.

"Our desire and intensity faded, and it just went out the window," Thomas said. "Right now, we got to make a decision on how bad do we really want it. Our fans want it probably more than our players want it right now. There is no explanation for what happened here other than just a matter of desire."

Torching New York from the outside, Korver shot 11-of-14 from the field, including 6-of-7 from the arc, and nailed numerous demoralizing buckets as the Knicks tried to make a comeback late in the game.

"It's about getting a rhythm," Korver said. "If you have fresh legs, that's always a bonus. Unfortunately, in an NBA season with 82 games, you don't always feel that way. You have to try to find ways to get in a rhythm."

Leading by 20 points with 6:26 left in the third quarter, Philadelphia let New York right back into the game. The Knicks outscored the Sixers, 25-10, in just over a nine-minute span, capped by Jamal Crawford's two free throws three minutes into the final period to make it 76-71.

However, two possessions later, Korver converted a three-point play with a nifty layup on the fast break to make it 79-71. Philadelphia would not look back, outscoring New York, 25-13, the rest of the way.

"We all know that Kyle has the ability to make shots like that, and when he does that, it opens up the game," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "I think when he came in we were trying to get back in the game and he made a couple shots to get us back. As we took the lead, he opened the game up a little more."

Playing without star reserve David Lee, who was out with the flu, Eddy Curry scored 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting for the Knicks, who shot 43 percent (33-of-77).

"When you take David and (Quentin) Richardson, those two guys rebound the basketball well for us," Thomas said. "They do a lot of things that we have a difficult time replacing. That being said, we were still in a position to win the basketball game."

Richardson left the game in the third quarter with a bruised left shoulder.

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