NEW YORK, Feb. 17 (Ticker) --
Every time the New York Knicks make a
move, they seem to get better.
NBA TV highlights from|
had 28 points and nine assists and Anfernee Hardaway
scored five of his 17 points in the final two minutes
as the Knicks posted a 92-88 victory over the slumping Detroit
The Knicks were nine games under .500 when they hired Isiah
Thomas as president of basketball operations on December 23.
They are 16-9 since hiring Thomas, who has pulled off two major
trades and changed coaches.
New York is 12-8 since acquiring Marbury and Hardaway in a trade
with Phoenix on January 5 and has won 11 of 16 games after
hiring coach Lenny Wilkens
a week later. Keith Van Horn
traded in a three-way deal with Milwaukee and Atlanta on Sunday
and the Knicks responded with another win.
The Knicks squandered a 13-point lead before Hardaway buried a
3-pointer to forge an 82-82 tie with 1:47 left.
"(Detroit) makes you work for everything you got," Hardaway
said. "They are very scrappy. You just have to stay aggressive.
I tried to do that tonight and some shots went down for me."
Marbury gave New York the lead for good 39 seconds later, when
made three free throws after getting fouled by Detroit's
on a 3-point attempt.
"When opportunity knocks, guys are doing it," Marbury said.
"Guys want that opportunity to step up and make big shots. Penny
stepped up tonight again."
Billups cut the lead to one with a pair of free throws at the
other end, but Marbury buried a 3-pointer with the shot clock
winding down to give the Knicks an 88-84 edge with 40.4 seconds
Billups halved the lead with a long jumper with 26 seconds left
and Detroit waited to foul before sending Hardaway to the line,
where he buried a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining.
"We didn't want to foul with 10 seconds to go," Detroit coach
said. "That was a miscommunication. They probably
would have made both of them anyway, but we still would've had
some more time left on the clock."
The Pistons again cut the lead on a jumper by Billups, but
sealed the game with a pair of free throws as
the Knicks were perfect in 17 attempts from the line.
"We work at every part of the game, free throws included,"
Wilkens said. "When you get to the line, it's an opportunity. We
are not going to shoot 17-for-17 every night, but you've got to
make hay when you can."
Harrington and Kurt Thomas
had 14 points apiece as New York
avoided its first three-game losing streak under Wilkens.
, who was acquired in the trade for Van Horn, had two
points and four rebounds in nine minutes in his debut with the
Billups scored 26 points and All-Star Ben Wallace
added 10 and
13 rebounds for the struggling Pistons, who were held to just 36
percent (33-of-92) shooting from the floor.