for this game

Knicks hang on, snap seven-game losing streak

Mar 13, 2008 - 3:58 AM By Richard Menning PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MIAMI (Ticker) -- The New York Knicks and Miami Heat put only their losing streaks on the line at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday night. In the end, it was New York's that finally came to the end.

Jamal Crawford scored 23 points and Zach Randolph had 19 and 12 rebounds as the Knicks ended their seven-game skid with a 91-88 victory over the Heat, who dropped their sixth straight and 18th in their last 20.

Leading, 72-65, after three quarters, New York scored seven straight points and appeared to be in control at 79-65 before Miami went on a 14-2 tear to cut the deficit to 81-79 with just over four minutes remaining.

"They're out there busting their tails," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "Some nights we get buried, but then we come out and play a game like this."

Crawford came up big, however, with a 25-footer just 16 seconds later to extend the margin to 84-79.

"It's all about making shots when you have to make shots," Crawford said. "Miami played hard, you can't relax against a team like that."

The Knicks kept their composure and built the lead to seven as Nate Robinson sank two free throws with 19 seconds left.

But after Jason Williams' 3-pointer and a turnover from Crawford led to a pair of free throws from Ricky Davis, Miami had cut the deficit to 90-88 with nine seconds to play.

Crawford made one foul shot to push the lead to three, but Williams' last-second shot came up short to seal New York's win.

"I made it a little too interesting there at the end," Crawford said. "I've got to make free throws in that situation and I only made one but we held on."

The Heat outrebounded the Knicks, 51-42, but made just 8-of-17 free throws and were 8-of-22 from the arc.

"We are trying to fight out there," said Heat forward Shawn Marion, who made just 1-of-4 from the line and 7-of-17 from the field. "It's frustrating, but we have to keep trying."

Miami jumped out to a 14-2 lead in the first five minutes as rookie Daequan Cook hit two 3-pointers and Marion added four points. Meanwhile, the Knicks were frigid from the field, hitting only 1-of-11 shots over that early stretch.

But the Knicks would rally to tie the game at the end of the first behind Crawford, who along with Robinson combined for 21 points at the half and hit two running jump shots in the closing minutes to make it 45-44 at the intermission.

Fred Jones scored nine of his 12 points in the third quarter as New York built a seven-point lead entering the fourth.

"I just tried to give us a spark," Jones said. "I was able to knock down some shots and help us tonight."

Davis had 27 points and Marion added 15 and 17 rebounds for Miami, which is 3-32 since December 25.

"It's tough being in this situation, but it is what it is," Davis said. "I'm going to go out there and play every game hard no matter how many we've lost."

New York coach Isiah Thomas was pleased with the effort Jones showed in trying to defend Davis.

"I thought Fred came in and did a good job on (Davis) defensively," Thomas said. "I think our guys played hard."

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