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Knicks take on Celtics, look for second straight home win

Nov 18, 2006 - 3:48 PM Boston (3-6) at New York (4-6) 7:30 pm EST

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- The New York Knicks routed the defending champions on the road. They will look to bring that same energy to Madison Square Garden.

After picking up their first home win this week, the Knicks will take on the Boston Celtics in New York on Saturday with both teams on surprising two-game winning streaks.

Jamal Crawford scored 19 points and Steve Francis added 14 as New York routed the Miami Heat, 100-76, on Friday to snap a seven-game losing streak against the defending champions. It was their second straight blowout victory after topping Washington by 20 points at home Wednesday.

Quentin Richardson collected nine points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who shot 52 percent (40-of-77) from the field and had a 46-20 advantage in bench points.

With the Shaquille O'Neal injured, New York took advantage, outrebounding the Heat, 46-40. The Knicks took their biggest lead, 96-67, with 3:39 remaining on a jumper by Jerome James. In his season debut, James had nine points in 14 minutes.

The Celtics have won two straight contests at an opportune time. Coach Doc Rivers had been rumored to be fired if Boston continued its putrid play.

Paul Pierce scored 29 points and five reserves scored on 10 consecutive possessions to start the fourth quarter as the Celtics pulled away in the second half for a 118-90 victory over the struggling Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.

Wally Szczerbiak scored 19 points and former Trail Blazer Sebastian Telfair had 15 and seven assists for Boston (3-6), which was off to its worst start since the 1978-79 season before the back-to-back victories.

The Celtics won three of the four meetings between the teams last season.

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