EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., April 19 (Ticker) -- Jamal Crawford
helped the New York Knicks avoid a dubious mark.
Crawford collected 23 points and 11 assists and Curry scored 18
points as the Knicks averted their first 60-loss season by
posting a 90-83 triumph over the New Jersey Nets.
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Despite the victory, New York (23-59) still finished with the
worst record in the Eastern Conference and tied the 1985-86 team
for franchise's fewest wins since the NBA went to the 82-game
schedule in 1967-68.
"We didn't want to leave a sour taste in our fans mouths,"
Crawford said. "The positive that I take from this season is
that I am very comfortable with my teammates. I feel like I am
becoming a leader. We have to build chemistry, work hard this
summer, and come into training camp jelling with each other."
The Nets (49-33) rested All-Stars Vince Carter
and Jason Kidd
they failed in their bid for their second 50-win season.
was the only regular who played, scoring 15
points in 18 minutes.
"The last five years we have been to the playoffs, it is part
our routine," Jefferson said. "We are healthy right now. We had
one of the top three or four (regular) seasons in the history
of the Nets."
New Jersey will face Indiana in the first round. The Pacers won
two of the three meetings against the Nets in the regular
"I have not seen too much of Indiana this year," Jefferson said.
"We played them once without Jermaine (O'Neal
) and once without
). They are a talented team with a great coach
The teams last met in the postseason in 2002, when New Jersey
captured a thrilling 3-2 first-round series victory en route to
its first NBA Finals appearance.
"Indiana finally has their team together," Nets coach
said. "They have experienced players, just as we have
experienced players. They have a great balance between
playmaking, mid-sized guys who can score, and great size inside.
They have two guys who have been MVP candidates in the last
four years in O'Neal and Stojakovic."
Nets forward Clifford Robinson
played in the 1,330th game in his
NBA career, moving him ahead of Moses Malone for seventh place
on the league's all-time list. Robinson feels the Nets are
ready for their opening round match-up.
"I think we match up well with them," he said. "I think they
have a veteran team. They have had some injuries over the
course of the season and now they have everybody back. You have
to expect them to come out and play well."