Jamal Crawford's last performance gave the New York Knicks' playoff hopes a boost, but an injury he suffered in the process may have dealt those same hopes
a serious blow.

The Knicks, who could be without Crawford for the rest of the regular season, come off a key win to visit the lowly Boston Celtics on Wednesday night as the Atlantic Division rivals conclude their season series.

Crawford suffered a stress fracture of his right ankle in a 99-93 victory over Miami on Monday night, a game the guard helped New York (26-32) win by scoring 20 points - including a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left.

The injury was revealed after an X-ray Monday night and confirmed Tuesday by a CAT scan, leaving the Knicks without a key player as they try to make their first playoff run in three years. Crawford, who doesn't know when the injury occurred, might be available if New York makes the postseason.

Crawford is second on the team with 17.9 points and 4.5 assists per game, and is the only Knicks player to appear in all 58 games.

The Knicks are two games behind Miami, New Jersey and Orlando, who are all tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. A win over Boston (14-42), owners of the NBA's worst record, would give the Knicks consecutive wins for just the second time since Jan. 12.

"If we can get two or three wins and get a little momentum going again that will probably carry us, hopefully, to the playoffs," New York forward Malik Rose said.

Eddy Curry scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Knicks on Monday. He is averaging 25.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in his last two games against Boston.

The Knicks have lost two of three meetings with the Celtics this season, with their only win coming in Boston on Nov. 24. New York, though, has lost three straight on the road since a 107-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 13, allowing 108.3 points per game in that stretch.

Knicks forward David Lee has missed two straight games due to a sprained ankle, and guard Steve Francis sat out against the Heat because of knee tendinitis. The status of both players for Wednesday's game is uncertain.

In its last home game, Boston ended its franchise-record losing streak at 18 games by beating Milwaukee 117-97 on Feb. 14.

The Celtics had been on the road since then, losing four straight before ending their trip with a 77-72 victory over Houston on Monday night, just their second win in the last 24 games.

"It's just good to finally go home with our confidence up," said Boston forward Al Jefferson, who had 16 points and 17 rebounds. He is averaging 13.3 rebounds over his last nine games.

Paul Pierce scored 28 points against the Rockets as the Celtics rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to end a 12-game road losing streak and avoid matching the franchise mark for consecutive defeats away from home.

"We're just trying to play better basketball," Pierce said. "We don't think about the streaks anymore."

Pierce had 31 points and seven rebounds to lead Boston to a 97-90 win over New York in the teams' last meeting, Dec. 11 at Madison Square Garden.

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