for this game

Knicks end skid with win over Bulls

Nov 24, 2007 - 10:26 PM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- The New York Knicks took their first double-digit lead of the season, then accomplished something that had been missing for over two weeks.

Zach Randolph scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks snapped an eight-game losing streak with an 85-78 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

Eddy Curry led New York with 21 points and Stephon Marbury chipped in with 19 for the Knicks, who avoided their first 2-10 start since 2002-03 and fourth in franchise history. Quentin Richardson also grabbed 15 rebounds as the Knicks won despite shooting 39 percent (28-of-72) and missing 16 of 42 free throws.

"It feels a lot better being on this side, but we got a long way to go still, but I thought we came out this afternoon and played with a lot of effort and we just stayed together," Curry said. "We had some moments where we could have folded and have folded in the past - but today we just kept pushing and we were able to get a win."

Slightly bothered by a hamstring injury, Randolph finished the game 7-of-16 and made 3-of-4 shots in the fourth. One was a driving hook shot from five feet that put New York in front 80-75 with 61 seconds left and another was a 21-footer with 29.6 seconds remaining that gave New York an 82-75 lead.

Randolph's biggest plays of the season came after he missed a free throw and was called for traveling, allowing the Bulls to further chip away. It also came on a day in which he did not record a double-double and also made six turnovers.

"We pulled it out," Randolph said. "We got the 'W'. That's all that matters."

It was New York's first victory since scoring 37 fourth-quarter points in a 119-112 victory over the Denver Nuggets. In between victories, the Knicks dropped home games to Orlando and Miami, prompting coach Isiah Thomas to send Marbury to the bench.

That led to the point guard leaving the team in Phoenix before he returned as a reserve for the final three games of the winless Western swing last week.

Marbury returned to the starting lineup Tuesday but that was unable to stop the losing and the ugliness as the Knicks lost by 26 at home to Golden State and then by 12 in Detroit the following night.

Thomas still heard some boos from the afternoon crowd that was made up of many families and Marbury was booed during introductions and on many early possessions in which he touched the ball.

"In New York, you are either dead or alive," Thomas said. "You lose a game and you are dead. You win one, you basically get to survive. This is the place we play in and this is a pressure-packed place.

"We know we have to come back and win Monday (against the Utah Jazz). If we don't win Monday, then it's the same thing all over again."

The jeers turned to cheers after the Knicks outscored the Bulls, 25-12, in the second. That gave them a 43-31 lead, their biggest of the season.

Marbury scored 13 points in the half and had seven points as the Knicks closed out the second quarter with a 19-7 run.

New York grabbed its first double-digit lead of the season during that run when Randolph hit a 15-footer with 2:35 remaining. The Knicks held the double-digit lead until Ben Gordon hit a pair at the line with 7:40 remaining in the third.

After shooting just under 30 percent in their second-lowest scoring first half, the Bulls climbed to 55-49. New York responded with a 10-5 spurt that gave them a 65-54 lead after three.

They Bulls opened the fourth with an 21-10 run and tied the game at 75-75 on a jumper by Kirk Hinrich with just over four minutes remaining. The Knicks never lost the lead and opened a 78-75 edge on a Marbury jumper with 2:44 remaining and clinched the win on a Randolph layup with 61 seconds left.

The Bulls fell to 1-4 on a six-game road trip their annual late-November road trip that forces them out of the United Center for two weeks due to the presence of the circus.

"We have to try to get our confidence and try to play hard every night," Chicago forward Andres Nocioni said. "I believe we have a long time and it is early in the season but we need to win."

Nocioni led Chicago with 23 and Ben Gordon added 13.

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