One night after being severely outclassed by Yao Ming, New York Knicks center Eddy Curry tries to regroup and help his team leave the state of Texas with a split of two road games Saturday when they play Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs.

The 6-foot-11 Curry had no answers for Yao on either end of the court in New York's 103-94 defeat Friday at Houston. Offensively, Curry had four of his first seven shots blocked by the 7-foot-6 Yao, who then exposed the 23-year-old center defensively en route to finishing with 35 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

``Oh, man, it was bad out there,'' said Curry, who finished with seven points on 2 of 11 shooting and grabbed five rebounds. ``Man, playoff form, All-Star form, I don't know. I've never seen Yao like that.''

It doesn't appear to get any easier for Curry with the prospect of guarding Duncan, whose fundamentals and footwork in the low post are arguably without peer in the NBA. The 7-foot Duncan had 15 points and eight rebounds in San Antonio's 105-93 win Sunday at New York, and he is averaging 21.5 points and 11.5 boards lifetime in 16 games against the Knicks (2-4).

New York is giving up 107.2 points per game and has yet to hold a team under 100. Its opponents are shooting 47.4 percent from the field, including 40.2 percent from 3-point range. The Spurs made 13 of 23 shots from beyond the arc in their win over the Knicks, but nearly squandered a 20-point fourth-quarter lead before regrouping down the stretch.

Despite the early-season struggles, Knicks coach and president Isiah Thomas insists his team's resolve will be rewarded with wins eventually.

``I am really proud of how hard we fight and I told my players that,'' he said after the Knicks twice cut the Rockets' lead to single digits. ``Right now, we don't need to focus on losses because if we keep playing hard, we are going to get better as the season goes on.''

San Antonio (4-1) has won three straight games, including a 111-106 overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Duncan had 26 points and 14 rebounds, but unheralded Fabricio Oberto provided the biggest lift, making all 11 of his shots for 22 points and pulling down 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.

``He's the ugliest productive player I've ever been around,'' Popovich said of the 6-foot-10 center from Argentina. ``He looks like a bull in a china shop out there.''

The Spurs opened overtime with a 10-2 run after rallying from a nine-point deficit in the final 5:28 of regulation. Tony Parker scored 11 of his 29 points in the final 4:17 of regulation and overtime for San Antonio, which has averaged 106.3 points while shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 44.6 percent (25-for-56) from 3-point range during its winning streak.

San Antonio has won three straight at home over New York and six of the last seven in the series overall. The Spurs, who also can complete a series sweep of the Knicks for the second straight season, have won the last three games between the teams by an average of 17.7 points.


Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited