98 - 101 Final
  for this game

Knicks hold off Bobcats in return of Brown to MSG

Nov 6, 2008 - 4:45 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Larry Brown's one season with New York Knicks was a downer and his latest former team made the well-traveled coach's return the same way.

Zach Randolph scored 25 points and Jamal Crawford added 16 as the duo played well down the stretch as the Knicks rallied for Wednesday's 101-98 victory over Brown and the Charlotte Bobcats.

Nate Robinson scored 21 of 24 points in the second quarter for New York, which rebounded from poor showings in Philadelphia and at home against Milwaukee that featured sub-par shooting performances that saw the Knicks shoot under 40 percent.

"You do have to make baskets," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said after avoiding a 1-3 start. "You do have to shoot a certain percentage. We did not do that (in the last two games). We played hard, our spirit was OK and we got the win."

"I was just trying to get a win," Crawford added. "When you lose two in a row in New York, it's like the end of the world."

Wilson Chandler added 18 points for New York, which shot 49 percent (39-of-77) and overcame 21 turnovers. The Knicks also dodged a bullet in the final seconds as Jason Richardson's potential game-tying 3-pointer fell short as the buzzer sounded.

Randolph scored 13 points in the final 12 minutes and his biggest basket of the night was a 14-footer with 6:23 remaining that gave New York a 97-88 edge. The Knicks barely held on as they missed six of their final seven shots and needed two free throws from Crawford with 6.6 seconds remaining to provide the final margin.

"Coach ran a couple of plays for me to get the ball into the post," Randolph said. "I was just trying to get in position for the shot."

Teammate David Lee praised Randolph.

"He was great," Lee said. "He didn't have many opportunities in the first half. That's sometimes the way it works in this system because a lot of times they were taking away his role and his post-ups and guards were getting more threes in the first half. At some point they relaxed and he went through a stretch.

"I told him when he went in the game at the start of the fourth quarter, he had something like 12 and seven and, by the first timeout, he had something like 21 and 12. So he made a great surge for us."

Emeka Okafor led Charlotte with 16 points and 15 rebounds but also committed six turnovers. Raymond Felton added 18 points and Richardson contributed 17 for Charlotte, which shot 49 percent (41-of-84) from the field.

"For the most part, we just can't turn it over like that without pressure," Brown said. "We gave up 25 points on turnovers - that's the game."

New York's second win in the D'Antoni era came on a night in which Brown returned as the coach of the Bobcats, who are the ninth team to employ him in his lengthy coaching career.

"I love this place, people love this game here," Brown said. "My brother and I were talking about all the games we've seen here, and it's pretty neat."

It was the eighth time in his NBA career that the well-traveled Brown made a return appearance. The last one was in 2005 to Detroit, which he guided to an NBA championship four years ago. However, Brown had an eventual fallout with Pistons owner Bill Davidson.

This one had significance also as Brown returned to the site where he went 23-59 in his only season with the Knicks, who fired him in June 2006 and alleged that he violated the team's media policy and went behind then-team president Isiah Thomas' back to make trades.

Brown was diplomatic about his brief stay in New York, conducting a lengthy pregame media briefing before getting booed by most of the crowd when announced prior to the game.

After watching his team take a seven-point lead midway through the third, New York outscored Charlotte, 23-11, over the final minutes of the third to take an 81-76 edge into the fourth.

Crawford scored nine points in that span and then opened the fourth with another 3-pointer for an 84-76 edge. New York never relinquished its lead but saw it cut to 91-88 on rookie D.J. Augustin's shot from the arc with 7:34 remaining.

Randolph halted the comeback by Charlotte by scoring six straight points for the Knicks, who stormed out to a 14-point lead in the second as Robinson scored 17 points in the first 3:43.

Charlotte chipped away and closed out the half with a 10-2 run and forged a 51-51 tie on Adam Morrison's jumper with two seconds remaining.