NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (Ticker) -- Jamal Crawford
turned it on in the second
half against his former team. His teammates joined him in the
Crawford scored 23 of his season-high 28 points after the break
and the New York Knicks scored the first 13 points of the fourth
quarter en route to a 109-101 comeback victory over the Chicago
Bulls, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
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The Knicks, who rallied from a 16-point deficit to top
Philadelphia on Saturday, entered the final period trailing,
82-74, but opened with an 18-2 burst.
Much of the damage came at the line as New York made 12 free
throws during the burst and was 45-of-57 overall.
"In the first half, we settled for jump shots and they
executed," New York coach Larry Brown
said. "In the second
half, we didn't settle for jump shots. We got to the free-throw
line and to the rim a lot."
Traded from the Bulls to the Knicks in the summer of 2004,
Crawford led the Knicks with more than just scoring. New York
tied it, 82-82, when he led a fast break and drew the defense by
driving to the basket before throwing a behind-the-back pass to
, who dunked over forward Andres Nocioni
"Everyone who came in contributed," Crawford said. "Guys got me
open. Guys set some good screens. (Stephon Marbury
) found me
and coach ran some great plays. They make it easy on me - I
just had to catch and shoot."
After Crawford, who was 10-of-10 from the line, sank a pair to
close out the 13-0 burst, he finished off the 18-2 run by
drilling a 3-pointer to make it 92-84 with 6:19 remaining.
Brown also praised Crawford's defense, which was highlighted by
his efforts to stop Ben Gordon
and Kirk Hinrich
, who did little
in the second half.
"That's the best he's defended since I've been here," Brown
said. "I told him during the game, that was as well as he's
defended since we had him. I've been hard on him, so it was
terrific when you can see a kid accept it and make progress."
For Crawford and the Knicks, it was a reversal of fortune
against the Bulls. En route to its first postseason appearance
since 1997-98, Chicago capitalized on New York's inability to
execute down the stretch and swept the four-game series by a
combined 13 points.
Crawford's inability to execute down the stretch last April at
the United Center also gave his former team home-court advantage
in the first round. In a 91-90 loss, Crawford missed a pair of
free throws with 11 seconds remaining and Gordon buried the
"It feels really good," Crawford said. "I took it personally
(those losses), especially the last game."
Rookie Channing Frye
scored 21 points and Marbury added 18 on
12-of-14 free-throw shooting as New York had its best offensive
output of the season.
"It shows the potential," Frye said. "We need to come just from
the start, especially at home."
Gordon sank a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored a season-best 28 points for Chicago, which had won its last
three road contests.
Chicago, which had played well in the final portion of its
annual November West Coast trip, shot 50 percent(20-of-40) en
route to a 58-50 edge at halftime.
The Bulls stretched their lead to 69-57 on Hinrich's 3-pointer
with 6:55 to play in the third period but were outscored, 52-32,
the rest of the way.
"We stopped moving," said Hinrich, who finished with 14 points.
"We gotta do a better job. We just didn't play well down the
"The only guy who seemed to have a chance on (Crawford) was Kirk,"
Chicago coach Scott Skiles
said. "Kirk played him and did a
nice job on him but whoever else was on him - he just took it
and scored on him at will."