NEW YORK, March 24 (Ticker) -- Howard Eisley could teach the Toronto Raptors a few things about shooting from the arc.

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Eisley hit three 3-pointers during a decisive run bridging the final two periods as the New York Knicks handed the Raptors their ninth loss in 10 games, 100-90.

The win moved the 10th-place Knicks within 2 1/2 games of Milwaukee for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. New York trails ninth-place Washington by one game.

"We don't take anybody for granted at all," Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "We know that teams are not going to just let you win, you have to compete. At this junction of the season, teams who aren't playing for anything are the most dangerous."

"We don't really look in the past anymore at this point," Knicks guard Allan Houston added. "It is even dangerous to look back at this game. We need to concentrate on what got us over the hump tonight, which is intensity. You may not do it every second, but if that is your focus over 48 minutes, you will still give yourself a chance."

The Knicks trailed, 62-56, after a jumper by Morris Peterson with 4:43 left in the third quarter before Eisley started connecting from the outside. His first 3-pointer gave New York the lead for good, 66-64, with 2:43 to play in the period and, after a jumper by teammate Latrell Sprewell, he closed the scoring in the quarter with another shot from the arc to make it 71-64.

"We kept covering for each other," Knicks center Kurt Thomas said. "We kept moving our feet and we contested shots. Don said we weren't contesting enough shots in the first half."

"We had a couple of guys get tired and we needed to make some substitutions, which hurt us a bit," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said of the end of the third quarter. "We missed shots and they made them, which hurt us."

Eisley's third 3-pointer gave the Knicks a 78-68 advantage with 9:13 left, and New York led by between seven and 16 points thereafter.

Toronto missed its first 12 3-point attempts before Vince Carter connected from the arc to pull the Raptors within 89-77 with 5:01 left. Toronto finished 4-of-17 from 3-point range while the Knicks were 8-of-23.

Thomas contributed 23 points and 10 rebounds and Houston scored 20 points for New York, which shot 52 percent (39-of-75) en route to its ninth straight home victory over an Eastern Conference opponent.

"I was really pleased to just see everybody get the ball and everybody having fun," Houston said. "It hasn't been like that in a long time. All of our games have been really ugly. It wasn't pretty, but at the same time, it was just fun to see everybody getting involved, playing hard, sharing the ball and being rewarded for playing hard."

Eisley and Sprewell finished with 13 points apiece for the Knicks, who improved to 15-15 against teams with current losing records.

"We started off poorly and then we were able to muster the energy to come back and win," Sprewell said. "The way we started, we were setting ourselves up for disappointment."

Antonio Davis collected 23 points and 12 rebounds and Carter added 21 points for the Raptors, who fell to 0-14 in the finale of back-to-back contests. Toronto also has lost seven straight road games.

"I found myself away from the basket a little bit more tonight," Davis said. "The defensive intensity was there, it was just more on the perimeter, and that's because Kurt played well from the outside."

"It's been tough the last five or seven games for me," said Thomas, who shot 11-of-17 despite battling an elbow injury. "It was just good to shoot the ball decently tonight. My teammates kept looking for me and kept telling me to shoot the ball, and it was able to go in."

Despite 14 points from Thomas, the Knicks trailed, 28-22, after one quarter as Carter scored 12 for the Raptors. New York rallied in the second period to take a 50-49 halftime lead.

"We have been undermanned the whole year. We haven't had our full arsenal," Carter said. "We still don't have it. At the same time, it's not an excuse. We can't let third quarters go to waste like that, especially when we are playing so well. It's going to kill us every time."