Harrington leads rout of former team as Knicks pound WarriorsNov 30, 2008 - 5:00 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Chris Duhon has been battling back spasms for a little over two weeks. That did not prevent him from enjoying a record-setting night sharing the ball.
Duhon set a franchise record with 22 assists, eclipsing the 50-year mark set by Richie Guerin, as the New York Knicks outran the Golden State Warriors en route to a 138-125 victory on Saturday night.
"It's an amazing accomplishment," Duhon said. "Obviously to break this kind of record is something you can't do by yourself. It's a team effort because you can't get assists without your guys putting the ball in the hole. It's something that I'll remember forever."
David Lee - whose production has skyrocketed since the team dealt Zach Randolph to the Clippers - was one of the primary beneficiaries of Duhon's performance. He collected a career-high 37 points and 21 rebounds for New York's first 30-20 regulation game since Patrick Ewing had 36 and 21 on January 23, 1994 against Philadelphia.
"Duhon did a great job finding me on the pick-and-roll," Lee said. "He found me about 18-20 times, it looks like. He was just unbelievable and my job was just to set a good screen, give him space and find the ball and finish."
Al Harrington also had a big night - fittingly, coming against the team that traded him just over a week ago - as he set season highs with 36 points and 12 rebounds for his first win in three games as a Knick.
"To have 22 assists and have three turnovers, not many people in the league have done that," Harrington said of his new point guard's performance.
Duhon's night came in a game against the worst defensive team against the Western Conference. It also happened on a night in which the Knicks were down to three guards.
Nate Robinson sat out with a groin injury, forcing coach head coach Mike D'Antoni to move Quentin Richardson into the backcourt and give Duhon 45 minutes of playing time.
With 35 assists overall, the Knicks topped the 30-assist mark for the third time in 16 games this season - after failing to do so for the entire 2007-08 campaign.
"It's just great ball movement," Duhon said. "We moved the ball great. I think we had 21 assists in the first half. I think whenever everybody's touching the ball, everybody feels good about themselves."
Duhon was playing this one injured as he has battled through minor back spasms. But with the Knicks looking at a fourth straight loss and their depth in the backcourt depleted, he was not going to sit out.
"Chris has been battling a bad back and just to be out there and playing 40 or whatever he played, it's got to be courage," D'Antoni said. "He will come out every day and will practice hard. He will do the right things and that's kind of what we're trying to build."
Signed as a free agent after spending his first four seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Duhon picked apart Golden State's defense, which focused on stopping 3-point shooters.
"I think Duhon is the story tonight," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "Wow, what a player. I've been watching him on film and seen him on videos but to see him in person is yet another story. The guy's got the whole package.
"He looked like Steve Nash out there. Whether we zoned him, switched him, it didn't matter, he still found a way to hurt us. Really an impressive performance."
The Knicks shot 13-of-27 from 3-point range and 51 percent overall (54-of-105).
Corey Maggette led the Warriors with 32 points, but it was not enough as Golden State dropped its sixth in a row and concluded a winless five-game road trip.
Duhon had 10 assists in a record-setting first half for the Knicks, who scored 82 points - the most at the current Madison Square Garden and six shy of the franchise mark set in 1963 against the Boston Celtics.
"He was great," Warriors guard Jamal Crawford said. "He really picked us apart. I would almost have Duhon do all of the scoring instead of picking who he wants to score, but he did a great job."
The contest marked the first meeting since Golden State sent Harrington to the Knicks for Crawford. Crawford fell to 0-4 since joining the Warriors on Tuesday in Washington and scored 21 points.
"It was definitely weird to say the least," Crawford said. "It was the first time since the trade that this happened, so it was definitely a little weird."
A streaky shooter throughout his tenure in New York, Crawford missed 13 of his first 16 shots before scoring 11 straight points for the Warriors to cut their deficit to 129-119 with 4:20 remaining.
Golden State also got within 12 on two occasions late in the third, but Lee's dunk with 2:41 left triggered a 10-4 spurt as the Knicks took a 116-96 lead into the fourth. That came after Harrington scored New York's first 10 points of the second half for a 24-point edge.
GOLDEN STATE 125
NEW YORK 138 FINAL
Nov 29 9:52 PM
GOLDEN STATE 96
NEW YORK 116 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 29 9:23 PM
GOLDEN STATE 64
NEW YORK 82 HALFTIME
Nov 29 8:40 PM
GOLDEN STATE 33
NEW YORK 39 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 29 8:09 PM
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