TORONTO, Jan. 23 (Ticker) -- Latrell Sprewell
showed up late again. This time, it did the New York Knicks some good.
Sprewell scored 15 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks snapped their longest losing streak in 15 years with a 92-92 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
The Knicks had lost eight straight games, their longest skid since February 1987. On Monday, they suffered an embarrassing 111-68 loss to Charlotte, the worst home defeat in club history.
Sprewell showed up 45 minutes late for that game and was held scoreless for just the second time in his 10-year career, going 0-of-9 from the field. He responded with one of his best games of the season, making 13-of-25 shots and 7-of-9 free throws as he played the entire contest.
NBA.comTV highlights from Knicks-Raptors:
Othella Harrington only made one of seven shots, but the important thing for New York was snapping its slide.
"We can't dwell on the past. I just hope we learn from it," said Sprewell, who had averaged just 14 points on 33 percent shooting during the slide. "I am not worried about what happened on Monday. I have already forgotten about what happened tonight and (am) focusing on the next game."
"He attacked the basket," Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "He's a very quick, athletic guy. Tonight he was really into his aggressiveness."
Sprewell dominated his matchup with Vince Carter
. In the final period, he outscored his fellow All-Star, 15-3, including a runner over him for a three-point play that sealed it at 95-88 with 1:18 remaining.
Carter scored 18 points and appeared disinterested at times. He made just 6-of-23 shots and committed five turnovers.
"I just tried to take away the baseline and force him down the middle and one of the other guys was there to cut him off," Sprewell said. "I just tried to play defense. If he was going to be successful, it wasn't going to be because of my defense."
"It didn't really affect him on our end of the court, but when things don't go your way, you start to drop your head a little and that takes a lot of energy out of you," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said.
Raptors forward Antonio Davis
thought whatever was bothering Carter affected the entire team.
"If you play like you don't give a damn, then we won't beat any team," Davis said. "You can accept turnovers and missed assignments, but to show up and play without heart is unacceptable."
Former Raptor Mark Jackson
scored 14 points and Kurt Thomas
had 13 for the Knicks, who also ended a six-game road skid.
"It's been a tough stretch for us, so hopefully we can learn from the way we played tonight," Sprewell said. "Hopefully we can play with that type of passion and intensity."
scored 23 points and Davis added 21 and 17 rebounds for Toronto, which has lost two in a row following a season-high four-game winning streak.
"I think most importantly, we have to look at why we didn't play well in the second half," Carter said. When things have gotten rough, we have figured it out. We will figure it out."
Sprewell opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and a runner in the lane, giving New York an 80-70 lead. Toronto fought back within 82-77, but Clarence Weatherspoon
made a free throw and Sprewell had a layup and 3-pointer around a basket by Davis to rebuild the advantage to 88-79 with 6:02 to go.
Williams scored 10 points in the final period, including a jump shot that made it 90-84 with 4:32 remaining. Sprewell made two from the line and, after baskets by Williams and Carter, made his runner while drawing a foul from Carter.
"On the offensive end, I just tried to be aggressive and not really worry about what happened last game," Sprewell said.
scored all nine of his points in the second half and former Raptor Marcus Camby
added eight and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who shot 49 percent (37-of-75).
scored 13 points for the Raptors, who shot just 38 percent (31-of-81). After beating the Knicks in the first round of last year's playoffs, Toronto is 0-2 vs. New York this season.
The Knicks never trailed, using a 10-0 run to open a 33-21 lead early in the second quarter. They settled for a 51-46 halftime advantage behind Sprewell's 14 points.
"We needed to come out on offense and be aggressive and not worry about the last game," Sprewell said. "We came out with intensity."
Sprewell had a pair of hoops in an 11-2 burst that opened the second half and gave New York its largest lead at 62-48.