for this game

Crawford, Knicks rout Bobcats

Feb 28, 2008 - 4:09 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- While seeing his team go on a lengthy run is a rare event for New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, having his former franchise center on the bench for long periods recently is not.

Jamal Crawford scored 20 points in three quarters as the Knicks scored the final 15 of the first half en route to a 113-89 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Crawford was one of five players to reach double figures in scoring for the Knicks (18-39), who have won consecutive home games for the first time since January 13-15 and four of seven since an eight-game losing streak.

Zach Randolph added 18 points and Quentin Richardson contributed 17 for New York, which tied its most lopsided margin of victory this season.

"I don't remember," Randolph said of the last time the Knicks had that easy of a night. "It feels great to have a win. It was a great win for us."

"I think with the exception of the Detroit game, this was the second time I could sit on the bench and enjoy it," New York forward David Lee added. "It is always a good feeling."

Nate Robinson led the Knicks with 22 points but netted more than half his total in garbage time. Fred Jones chipped in 12 points and Lee pulled down 14 rebounds for the Knicks, who shot 51 percent (46-of-90).

One Knick who did not contribute was Curry, who played the entire first quarter as the Knicks fell behind by six. Curry missed all three of his shots, had two blocks, two rebounds and a seat for New York's strong showing in the final four-plus minutes of the half.

Curry came back to start the third when the Knicks expanded their lead to 18 on the first possession. Nearly four minutes later, Charlotte ripped off eight straight points, and Curry was headed to the bench with 8:13 remaining and New York up by eight.

After Curry sat for good the Knicks scored 11 straight points to take control of matters. New York took an 83-62 edge into the fourth and never relinquished control thereafter.

"The third quarters haven't been good quarters for us the whole season," Randolph said. "But we came out in the third, made shots, moved the ball around."

Curry played just 15:47, marking the fifth time in seven games he has failed to play at least half the game, which is a drastic difference from last season when Thomas was campaigning for Curry to be an All-Star.

"In terms of Eddy's minutes, I just thought that the way the game was going we had a good group out there that was playing well and the game was getting out of hand," Thomas said. "There was no reason to put him back in the game.

After digging out of two eight-point deficits, the Knicks went ahead for good on Crawford's three-pointer with 3:07 remaining. Crawford scored five points during the spurt, and the Knicks took a 54-41 lead into halftime.

The Bobcats (19-38) are just one game ahead of the Knicks (18-39) for 13th place in the East but have played like the more inept team recently. They have lost four in a row, 11 of their last 12 and eight in a row on the road.

Gerald Wallace missed his second straight game with a concussion after getting elbowed in the face by Sacramento's Mikki Moore on Friday. Charlotte also lost Jason Richardson to a right eye contusion after he was poked by Robinson in the second quarter.

"It is tough for us when we don't have a couple of our main scorers in the game," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said.

"Tonight we scrambled to find some offense and we couldn't really get it going. Once we didn't get the offense, we kind of broke down our defense, and it kind of unraveled from there. To miss Gerald and Jason from the game is tough for this team right now."

Without Wallace, the Bobcats struggled to compensate for his team-leading 20.6 points per game. Matt Carroll led Charlotte with 19 points while Emeka Okafor added 18 but shot 5-of-15 from the floor.

"They just outplayed us," Carroll said of the Bobcats' eighth double-digit loss in the last three weeks. "Even without those two guys, we shouldn't have been beaten that bad."

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