112 - 119 Final
  for this game

Curry, Knicks fend off Nuggets in fourth quarter

Nov 7, 2007 - 3:25 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- There was plenty of action Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. But this time it was for the right reasons.

Eddy Curry scored nine of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including a crucial three-point play, and added eight rebounds as the New York Knicks held off the Denver Nuggets, 119-112, in high-scoring shootout.

Zach Randolph collected 22 points and 17 rebounds and Jamal Crawford added 23 and eight assists for the Knicks, who outscored the Nuggets by 15 points in the final quarter to secure the victory.

Denver's fourth game of the season and New York's third marked the first time the teams met since December 16, 2006 when a routine blowout turned into full-scale melee. But in this one, all the action was on the court.

After Crawford's runner gave the Knicks a three-point lead, Curry bulled his way to the basket, overpowering three Nuggets' defenders - powering in a layup while getting fouled - to make it 115-110 with 55 seconds left.

Although Curry missed the ensuing free throw, New York would not allow Denver any closer than four points the rest of the way - icing the game when Carmelo Anthony missed two free throws with a chance to make it a one possession game with 12.4 seconds left.

But looming over this exciting contest was last season's fight.

With 1:15 remaining in that game, the Knicks took exception to the Nuggets having four starters in the game as coach Isiah Thomas warned Anthony that the his team should not drive to the basket.

On their next possession, that is exactly what they did as J.R. Smith was met with a hard foul by reserve guard Mardy Collins. Diminutive Knicks guard Nate Robinson intervened with Smith as the action spilled into the stands while Anthony punched Collins.

The incident resulted in a 15-game suspension for Anthony and even less time to get acclimated with Iverson, who was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers less than a week later.

Everyone involved with the incident downplayed the events on Tuesday and opted to focus on this game - at least the offensive aspect of it. The Nuggets scored 37 points in the first quarter, built a 15-point lead less than five minutes into the second and took a 66-60 edge into the break.

The Nuggets led by double digits for most of the first five minutes of the third, taking an 81-71 edge on Iverson's 19-footer. But on consecutive possessions, the Knicks got a 3-pointer from Crawford and a dunk by Renaldo Balkman to cut the deficit in half with 5:44 left.

Denver went nearly five minutes without a basket, and New York used an 11-1 run to tie the game at 82-82 on Crawford's hoop with 4:15 remaining. The Nuggets finally broke their drought with 92 seconds left on a basket by Anthony and took a 92-82 lead into the fourth.

Denver's third double-digit lead of the game evaporated quickly as New York scored the first seven points of the fourth. The Knicks were within 92-89 with 10:41 left and twice got within one point before Nene's transition dunk with 7:36 held off New York temporarily.

But Curry and Randolph, who combined to shoot 20-of-31 from the field, were too much for the Nuggets down the stretch.

Iverson scored 32 points and Anthony added 24 and nine assists for Denver.