In the middle of an emotional week, the New York Knicks managed to scratch out their first road win of the season despite missing two of their starters.
With Stephon Marbury expected to play and the status of Eddy Curry still up in the air, the Knicks could need a similar effort on Friday as they visit the Philadelphia 76ers.
Marbury missed Wednesday's 100-93 win in New Jersey following the death of his father on Sunday, while Curry sat out after spraining his left ankle at the morning shootaround. Still, the Knicks (6-11) pulled out the win with reserves Fred Jones and David Lee in the lineup as they drew the Nets on a night when they were without star point guard Jason Kidd.
Jamal Crawford scored a team-high 29 points, Zach Randolph added 25 and Jones and Lee combined for 28. The win was New York's first in eight road games this season and fourth in six games overall.
"We said that we thought we had capable people in the locker room who would step up and they were capable of playing," coach Isiah Thomas said, "and those two guys (Jones and Lee) did an excellent job just in staying within themselves and doing what they were capable of doing."
On Thursday, Marbury's teammates accompanied him to the funeral of his father, who was taken from Madison Square Garden to a hospital during halftime of the Knicks' loss to Phoenix on Sunday night. Donald Marbury died of a heart problem before the game ended.
Marbury sent a statement during Wednesday's game, thanking fans for their "outpouring of support, heartfelt prayers and words of encouragement."
"I thought overall it was still a great victory for us," Lee said. "Both teams were missing key players and we were able to come out on top, and any time you come into this place and get a victory it's huge.
"With stuff on the court and off, we haven't had the best week. But this is a very positive thing today, coming in here a little bit short-handed and coming out with a victory on the road."
Marbury participated in the Knicks' shootaround Friday, and is expected to play in this game. He's averaging 14.7 points and a team-high 5.2 assists.
Curry, scoring 16.6 points per game, had the ankle taped at the shootaround and his availability for Friday will be a game-time decision.
The Knicks will be trying to end a five-game losing streak in Philadelphia since a 113-107 overtime win on Dec. 17, 2004. Overall, New York has dropped six of seven against the 76ers (5-13).
The Sixers are in last place in the Atlantic Division and have lost three in a row, including Wednesday's 113-103 loss to Boston. Still, Philadelphia turned in an inspired effort against the Eastern Conference's top team in their first game with Ed Stefanski as president and general manager.
Stefanski left his job as general manager of the Nets to take a similar role in Philadelphia after Billy King was fired on Monday.
"We can play with them," said Samuel Dalembert, who scored 13 points. "We just need to learn how to keep a lead. We can't just let them get their confidence going."
Andre Iguodala added 24 points for the Sixers, who are 0-5 against Atlantic Division opponents.
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