Knicks Move To One Game Under .500 With Fourth Consecutive Win

Published on: 24th November, 2010

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Knicks vs. Jazz
Knicks Move To One Game Under .500 With Fourth Consecutive Win

New York Knicks guard Toney Douglas #23 2nd half, New York Knicks vs. Utah Jazz at Madison Square Garden. Original Filename: _AJS1602.jpg  | read this item

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NEW YORK — Toney Douglas scored 22 points, and the New York Knicks won their fourth straight game, beating the Charlotte Bobcats 110-107 on Tuesday night in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Amare Stoudemire added 17 for the Knicks, who won the final three games on their road trip and kept rolling right through most of this one. They blew nearly all of a 16-point lead before holding on for their longest winning streak since taking four straight last Dec. 4-11.

Raymond Felton made the clinching free throws against his former team as New York put six players in double figures. The Knicks can get back to .500 with a victory at Charlotte on Wednesday.

Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni is seeing a developing team on the rise.

“They have a little more confidence with each other,” he said after the game. “I think we’ve cleared things up a bit for Amar’e (Stoudmire) and he’s in a better position to attack. Raymond Felton keeps getting better. We had a chance to knock them out…we are going to get better at that.”

D.J. Augustin, Felton’s replacement, scored 24 points and Gerald Wallace had 20 for the Bobcats, who were coming off their best offensive performance of the season, shooting 57.5 percent in a 123-105 victory over Phoenix on Saturday. Stephen Jackson had 18 after a miserable start.

But it was Charlotte’s defense that let it down against the Knicks, who averaged 120 points on their 3-1 road trip and were on pace to hit that again before stalling early in the fourth quarter and letting the Bobcats nearly catch up.

Felton finished with 16 points and nine assists.

The Knicks led by as much as 14 in the first half and brought a 60-49 lead into the break after shooting 55 percent. They had terrific balance, with eight players scoring at least five points, led by Douglas’ 13 off the bench.

The lead was 16 late in the third after a basket by Ronny Turiaf, whose energy on both ends since returning from a knee injury has been a catalyst in New York’s turnaround, and the Knicks were ahead 89-75 to start the fourth. But Shaun Livingston had a basket and a three-point play in a 9-0 spurt to start the fourth, and Charlotte pulled to 91-89 on a basket by Wallace with 8:40 to play.

Rookie Landry Fields nailed a 3-pointer 14 seconds later, and followed Augustin’s jumper by making a gift layup after a careless Charlotte turnover in its backcourt. He then slammed down a follow dunk on the fast break to push the lead to 98-91 with 6:34 remaining.

“What Landry does on the court is very rare,” said D’Antoni. “He is extremely knowledgeable about the game. Big hoops in big moments. The guy is pretty good. He has some developing to do but he is very rare.”

Jackson, quiet most of the night — beyond complaining to the officials — after recording the first triple-double in Bobcats history on Saturday, finally got going with the Bobcats down nine and under 5 minutes to play. Two 3-pointers and a dunk cut it to 104-101 with 2 minutes left, and his basket got Charlotte within one with 18 seconds remaining.

But the Knicks made their free throws, with Felton knocking down the final pair with 2.1 seconds left.

Felton helped the Bobcats make their first playoff appearance last season before leaving as a free agent to join the Knicks. Brown, who enjoys a love-hate relationship with his point guards, praised new starter Augustin, but sounded as if he wishes Michael Jordan could’ve found the money to keep Felton.

“He’s great. I think what he brought to our team is something you can’t replace,” Brown said. “He plays hard every day, plays hurt, practices hard, he’s a great teammate and I’m thrilled for him. I think it’s worked out good for everybody. D.J.’s gotten an opportunity and he’s played well.”

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