NEW YORK, Jan. 13 (Ticker) -- Stephon Marbury
made sure Herb Williams'
one-game stewardship of the New York Knicks was a success.
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Marbury capped a chaotic day for the franchise by scoring 11 of
his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Knicks to a
120-110 victory over the Orlando Magic.
added 23 points before fouling out for the first
time this season and Keith Van Horn
chipped in eight of his 22
in the final period for the Knicks, who shot 60 percent
(42-of-70) from the field despite losing their coach less than
three hours before tipoff.
"It was a strange day, and at the end of the day you have to do
your job," Houston said. "We have had this before and we have
had to focus before, and as professionals, we have distractions
just like entertainers, actors, who at the end of the day have
to show up and work hard."
Late Wednesday afternoon, new Knicks president Isiah Thomas
fired coach Don Chaney and announced that Lenny Wilkens, the
all-time leader in wins, would be introduced Thursday as his
replacement. Williams, an assistant on Chaney's staff, would
coach the team for this one.
"Don came up with a game plan this morning and once the game
started I felt good, relaxed," said Williams, who said he would
coach the game only 45 minutes before it started. "This was a
good win tonight and with Lenny coming in tomorrow, it's good to
start on a winning morale.
"I felt great for the guys tonight, with all the changes and
distractions. I coached tonight like I always played, which was
hard and always try to win."
New York was clinging to a 97-95 advantage when reserve Frank Williams
made a finger roll, Penny Hardaway
a jump hook and Van
Horn a 3-pointer to give the Knicks a nine-point cushion with
"The lack of defense tonight was the difference in this game,"
Magic coach Johnny Davis said. "We talked about it, we stressed
it and we just didn't get it done defensively. You can't allow
any team to have uncontested shots and second shots and not get
back on defense and expect to be successful."
Orlando got no closer than five points thereafter.
"I coach in summer league," Williams said when asked the last
time he led a team. "It is strange being behind the mic, but
it's a great feeling when you win."
"He did a good job coaching tonight and kept our heads in the
game," Houston said. Several Knicks indicated that while they
felt bad for Chaney, they were ready to start playing for
"He's a great coach," said Knicks center Dikembe Mutombo
played for Wilkens in Atlanta from 1996-2000. "He likes the
look of veterans. He doesn't push you too hard but he wants to
be very productive, and after playing under him five years, this
team will feel different on the defensive side when he comes
"He stressed a lot of defense and in this league, that is good,"
Marbury said. "I just know that he is a player's coach and
every player that I've spoken to has had nothing bad to say."
collected 28 points, nine assists and seven
rebounds and Juwan Howard
added 23 points and eight rebounds for
the Magic, who were outrebounded, 42-28.
New York took the lead for good, 90-88, on a jumper by Michael Doleac
1:06 into the fourth quarter. Marbury, who had 10
assists for a fourth straight game, added a pair of free throws
and Van Horn drained a 3-pointer to open up a 95-88 cushion with
10 minutes to play.
"It is a great feeling when you have guys like Houston,
and Van Horn making shots because it makes the
game come to you," Marbury said.
"We still have to play when Lenny comes in," Houston said. "He
has great credentials and now it's up to us to see what happens