Knicks Lose Big Lead But Stop Bucks
New York 103, Milwaukee 98
MILWAUKEE, March 4 (Ticker) -- The New York Knicks may have even surprised themselves.
Malik Rose and Steve Francis were clutch in the fourth quarter as the Knicks recovered from forfeiting a big lead and snapped a 12-game road losing streak with a 103-98 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Entering with the NBA's worst record and having not won on the road in nearly two months, the Knicks (16-43) led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter before settling for a 62-48 lead at halftime But the Knicks resembled their old ways after the break.
The Knicks managed just 12 points in the third quarter as the Bucks closed to 74-72 entering the final period. In the final two seconds of the third, the Knicks watched Maurice Williams drive for a layup and Charlie Bell throw in a 41-footer at the buzzer.
After twice briefly falling behind in the fourth quarter, the last time at 94-93 with 2:20 remaining on Joe Smith's jumper, the Knicks actually exhibited some mental toughness.
Rose, who scored eight points in the fourth quarter, hit a jumper with two minutes left to give the Knicks the lead for good. The power forward finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Stephon Marbury hit a jumper with 1:09 left and Quentin Richardson split two free throws with 31 seconds to go for a 98-94 lead.
"We had a little more poise," Brown said. "We used the clock a little bit better. I think we got into our stuff a little bit better. I think overall we did a lot of good things."
The recently acquired Francis sealed things by making five free throws in the final 20 seconds.
"Tonight we were just able to finish things off late in the game," said Francis, who scored 11 points. "They made their run and I thought we responded well. Malik Rose did a great job stepping up and hitting big shots. I thought it was a total team effort that helped us win the game."
Eddy Curry had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Jalen Rose scored 19 points for the Knicks, who snapped a six-game losing streak overall and won away from home for the first time since January 10.
"Wins do a lot for your confidence, especially when you go out there and feel like you are playing your hardest," Curry said. "This lets us know that despite what the record says we are a good team."
Richardson also scored 18 points for New York, which shot 50 percent (36-of-72) and held a 43-30 rebounding advantage.
Michael Redd scored 23 points, Smith 19 and Williams 17 for Milwaukee (29-30), which lost for the sixth time in eight games to fall back under .500.
"When you come back from (17) down these shots get a little tougher to make down the stretch," Smith said. "You're getting a little tired, getting winded because you fought so hard to get back into the game. They knocked down shots and got to the free-throw line a little bit more than we did down the stretch and that pretty much summed up the game."
Bucks coach Terry Stotts was disappointed in his team.
"Regardless of the Knicks' record they're a talented team, but we didn't come out with urgency," Stotts said. "We got down early and the Knicks played with some desperation. We did in the second half. It came down to the last two minutes and they made some big shots and we missed ours."