New York 117, L.A. Lakers 115 (OT)
NEW YORK, Feb. 28 (Ticker) -- Tim Thomas'
best game as a member of the
New York Knicks almost was overshadowed by a monumental
Thomas scored a season-high 35 points and Stephon Marbury
connected on a pair of free throws with 12.1 seconds left as the
Knicks blew a double-digit lead late in regulation before
rallying for a 117-115 overtime victory over the Los Angeles
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Thomas turned in his finest game as a Knick, surpassing his
season high in points for the second time in three games. He
also finished just four points shy of his career best and was
instrumental in helping the Knicks tie a season high with their
third straight win.
"I was just being aggressive," said Thomas, who was 13-of-19
from the floor, including four 3-pointers. "When I got the ball
in the block, I was just being aggressive. I got into a nice
rhythm and it just never stopped."
"Tim was huge," interim New York coach Herb Williams
last couple of games, he's been telling me that he's ready.
Anytime he gets going in the post, I'm just going to keep going
to him. At the small forward position, he has the advantage on
most nights. He was on tonight. We went to him and he
New York led, 105-93, with 84 seconds left in regulation, but
sparked the Lakers rally with a jumper and -
following a shot-clock violation - a 3-pointer to cut the
deficit to seven. Kurt Thomas
then split a pair of free throws
and Lamar Odom
connected with a 3-pointer to make it 106-101.
After another Knicks turnover, Caron Butler
buried a shot from
the arc to cut the lead to 106-104. Marbury split a pair from
the line, which set up a game-tying 3-pointer by Kobe Bryant
with 4.4 seconds left - his first basket in the second half.
"We were missing shots and turning the ball over, and they were
just capitalizing," Tim Thomas said. "They got the ball in
Kobe's hands and he was just creating. They have great shooters
on their team."
In overtime, Bryant, who finished with 30 points, completed a
three-point play to give Los Angeles a 115-111 lead with 2:25 to
go. However, the Lakers committed turnovers on their next
Marbury and Tim Thomas
capitalized with a layup and follow shot,
respectively, to knot the contest.
"That is what this team is about," Thomas said. "We have to
stick together in tough times. We have been in these
situations so many times. It is very nice to win."
The Lakers' final turnover set up the go-ahead free throws by
Marbury, who collected 19 points - on 5-of-18 shooting - and 12
Los Angeles failed get a shot off as time expired as Bryant
drove the lane and dished off to a slicing Luke Walton
instead of taking the shot as Bryant hoped, Walton passed back
to the star, who bobbled the ball and failed to get a shot off.
"Our guys have to quit deferring to Kobe so much," said Lakers
interim coach Frank Hamblen
, who fell to 4-8 since replacing
Rudy Tomjanovich earlier this month. "Kobe is going to get his
there at the end. I am not blaming (Walton) for this game, but
you have to be a threat out there, that's why he is in there
"It was a mix-up," Bryant explained. "It was a
miscommunication. I kicked it to Luke and he tried to get it
back to me, but I bobbled it. I'll just tell him if we get in
that situation again, I'll hit you again. I have complete
confidence in his abilities to make that shot. I hope he knows
After their third straight loss, the Lakers were not about to
blame Walton for anything.
"It's not Luke's fault," forward Brian Grant
said. "He feels
like it was his fault but it was ton of things that happened. It
wasn't that one that killed us."
Second-year Knicks forward Mike Sweetney
continued to capitalize
on increased minutes as he tied career highs with 19 points and
12 rebounds and Kurt Thomas
collected another double-double
with 15 and 12.