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Chandler, Knicks nearly blow lead, hold off Bobcats

Dec 31, 2008 - 4:50 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Wilson Chandler provided the New York Knicks with a much-needed late-game boost.

Chandler scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks snapped their six-game losing streak, escaping with Tuesday's 93-89 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats.

David Lee collected 13 points and 16 rebounds and Al Harrington added 16 points for the Knicks, who nearly surrendered a 10-point, fourth-quarter advantage.

New York led by as many as 17 points in the first half after shooting 71 percent from the floor en route to taking a 36-25 lead entering the second quarter.

"We came out with no effort at all," Charlotte head coach Larry Brown said.

However, the Knicks needed to hold off the Bobcats in the final two minutes, when they nailed all six of their free throws.

With the game tied at 87-87 after Boris Diaw's third 3-pointer of the game with 1:46 left, Chandler and Chris Duhon nailed two foul shots apiece. Charlotte's Raymond Felton then converted a layup before Nate Robinson sealed the win with two from the line with 17.5 ticks left.

Gerald Wallace scored 21 points and Diaw - a former player under Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni - added 20 for the Bobcats, who have lost two straight.

Brown was coaching against his former team, for which he guided to one miserable 23-59 season that ended in a messy divorce.

Lee scored nine points in the first quarter for New York, which kept the pressure on the second en route to a 56-48 lead at halftime.

The Bobcats outrebounded the Knicks, 14-8, in the second quarter but just could not finish at the basket, adding to the frustration of Brown, who chided his club for falling to 8-12 at home.

"We don't seem to take the home court very seriously," Brown said.

Charlotte's Wallace stepped up to lead the team closer in the third, scoring 11 points and bringing the Bobcats within six at the end of the quarter.

The Knicks' scoring pace slowed as Charlotte inched closer and closer to tying the score. After two threes from Diaw, the Bobcats cut their deficit to four points.

It wasn't until 4:37 left in the game that Charlotte would see its first lead of the game, when Raymond Felton nailed a three to put the Bobcats up 82-80, setting the stage for some strong execution from Chandler and Knicks down the stretch.

"Tonight, we executed," Harrington said.

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