for this game

Crawford, Knicks edge Bucks, snap eight-game skid

Feb 10, 2008 - 5:39 AM By Nick Berenz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Jamal Crawford and the New York Knicks were on the other side of a huge comeback this time around.

Crawford scored 30 points and David Lee added 17 and nine rebounds as the Knicks snapped a season high-tying eight-game losing streak with a 99-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

One night after letting an 18-point third-quarter lead slip away against the San Antonio Spurs, the Knicks rallied from a 17-point deficit, and then had to overcome some sloppy play to hold on.

"We just kept fighting and kept battling," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "They made a run at us and we had some turnovers in that third quarter that kind of helped facilitate that. I thought we settled ourselves down. Malik (Rose) came in and really got us together.

"We started playing better basketball and taking care of the basketball and just started playing the way we've been playing in the last seven or eight games. We've been playing really good basketball and tonight we came out with a win."

During their losing streak, the Knicks had three losses by three points or less and another two in overtime.

"We haven't given up," Crawford said. "We're still fighting and we're still trying to get better. All the games we've lost these last eight we've had a chance to win and tonight we were able to finish it."

The comeback helped New York avoid losing a ninth straight for the first time since March 19-April 4, 2006 under former coach Larry Brown. It was New York's first win since January 25 vs. Philadelphia.

"We needed that, we walked off the court like it we won the world championship," Crawford said. "Malik was the player of the game, though, he's the consummate pro."

Rose hit a jumper to put New York up 99-96 with 1:53 left, but Crawford turned the ball over leading to a layup by Charlie Bell that sliced the deficit to one with 31 seconds remaining.

"It feels good having a microphone in front of me," said Rose, who scored a season-high seven points and has played sparingly this season. "I was open, and it felt good leaving my hand, toss out the extra stuff, this was a badly needed win."

Crawford missed a jumper on the other end with eight seconds left, and the Bucks called timeout with 5.8 ticks remaining. After the Knicks gave their last foul, the Bucks inbounded with 4.2 seconds remaining

Bell got the ball and drove the basket before handing the ball off to Michael Ruffin, who lost control and slammed the ball off the backboard as the buzzer sounded.

"Our defense was good but sometimes you get at little lucky," Thomas said of the final play of the game. "Every now and then you need things to fall your way and tonight they did."

Michael Redd scored 21 points in his return to the lineup for Milwaukee, which suffered its fifth loss in its last six games. Redd had missed the previous six games with a strained left knee.

It was a back-and-forth contest that featured 17 ties and 18 lead changes.

"This game was a game of runs," Bell said. "We made a run, they made a run. We've got to be a better team. If we get up, we need to put them away."

Charlie Villanueva scored 21 points and Desmond Mason added 15 for Milwaukee, which broke open a tie game with a 21-4 third-quarter run. The spurt gave the Bucks a 81-64 lead with 3:10 left in the third period.

The Knicks appeared to let the game slip away, but Milwaukee went cold and New York proceeded to go on a 10-0 run to slice the deficit to 81-74 entering the final period.

"We had a heck of a third quarter, (went on a roll) and then lost that momentum," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "Crawford got things going, got second shots. Momentum in this league is crazy."

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