NBA Game Summary - Utah at New York
(Monday, December 18th)
Final Score: New York 97, Utah 96 (OT)
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Stephon Marbury hit the game-winning layup as the clock expired in overtime, lifting the undermanned New York Knicks over the Utah Jazz, 97-96, at Madison Square Garden.
Marbury ended with 29 points and eight assists as the Knicks followed one of their ugliest events in franchise history with one of their best wins of the season.
After Deron Williams hit a jumper with three seconds left in overtime to put the Jazz ahead 96-95, Marbury quickly made his way up court, taking the inbounds pass from David Lee, went the length of the floor and hit the finger- roll as time ran out.
"When David got the ball we both made eye contact," said Marbury. "I just took off."
"I tried to keep the ball from Stephon, but it was my fault because I let him catch it over the top," said Utah's Derek Fisher.
Lee ended with 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for the Knicks, who ended a two-game slide in their first game since Saturday night's brawl with the Denver Nuggets at MSG.
Jamal Crawford added 18 points and Channing Frye had 10 points and 10 boards for New York, which had just eight players available because of the suspensions that were handed down on Monday as a result of the now infamous incident.
"All we had tonight was our pride," said Lee. "We had a tough 48 hours with this whole situation happening. We wanted to come out and show our fans that we're in some tough circumstances, but we're going to continue to fight and continue to work together as a team. We're not going to go away. The New York Knicks are here to stay."
Williams and Carlos Boozer each had 23 points to lead the Jazz, who failed to take advantage of the Knicks lack of manpower and fell to 1-1 on their current five-game road trip. Mehmet Okur added 19 points for the Jazz, who used a 10-2 run late in the regulation to draw within one possession.
Down by 10 points, 80-70, late in regulation, Andrei Kirilenko and Okur spearheaded a 10-2 Utah run. Kirilenko scored the first four points and Okur hit consecutive three-pointers to draw the Jazz within 82-80 with 2 1/2 minutes left.
The game went scoreless for the next two minutes. Marbury then hit 1-of-2 free throws with 25.6 seconds remaining and Williams hit a driving layup seven seconds later. Crawford hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left to again make it a three-point affair, 85-82.
Williams then hit the game-tying three-pointer with 10.8 seconds left and Crawford missed the potential game-winning three as time expired to force OT.
Earlier on Monday, NBA commissioner David Stern handed down his penalties for Saturday night's fight, suspending a total seven players (four Knicks) and issuing a total of $1 million in fines to both franchises.
The hardest hit was Denver's Carmelo Anthony, who received a 15-game suspension. Nate Robinson was the most penalized Knick, receiving a 10-game suspension. New York's Mardy Collins (six games), whose flagrant foul led to the brouhaha, Jared Jeffries (four games) and Jerome James (one game) were also suspended. The Knicks also received a $500,000 fine for the actions of their players.
None of the suspended players were at this game, per league rules, leaving the Knicks with just eight players.
"It was a big win for us because we were down in numbers," said Marbury. "We stay focused and in tune. Guys continued to fight and didn't show any fatigue. Everyone continued to play as hard as we could."
New York head coach Isiah Thomas and his available players didn't comment much on the incident prior to the game. The general consensus was that the incident was unfortunate, it should have been avoided and the team will deal with the hand it's dealt. Thomas didn't respond to Denver head coach George Karl's comments earlier on Monday, in which Karl blamed Thomas for what happened during a profanity-laced interview session.
Knicks owner and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan released a statement prior to the game and he was clearly embarrassed by the actions of his players.
"I was sitting just a few feet away at the end of Saturday night's game," said Dolan. "I believe the Commissioner acted appropriately, as it was an ugly incident, not worthy of the Knicks, Nuggets, Madison Square Garden or the people of New York. I am grateful to the fans and our security personnel for remaining calm during some very chaotic moments. The incident was deeply regrettable, unacceptable on every level and I hope and expect to never witness anything like it again. We are all very sorry it happened. We will have no further comment on this matter."
Utah appeared poised to take advantage of the Knicks' problems, taking a 34-20 lead after one quarter. However, the Jazz scored just 10 second-quarter points and trailed 46-45 heading into halftime.
"I thought we had a chance to get out and stay out if we stayed after it," said Utah head coach Jerry Sloan. "We couldn't stand the pressure they put on us in the second quarter."
Late in the third with New York ahead 59-58, Crawford started a 9-3 surge that bridged the final two quarters. The Knicks led 66-61 after three and Eddy Curry's bucket early in the fourth completed the surge for a 68-61 lead. Later, New York grabbed its largest lead, 80-70, when Marbury hit a bucket with under six minutes left.
Curry, playing in foul trouble most of the game, ended with just eight points...Fisher had 10 points for the Jazz...Boozer had 10 rebounds to record a double-double...The Knicks have won five straight in this series...Utah last beat the Knicks on February 20, 2004, 92-78, at MSG...The Knicks outboarded the Jazz, 63-49...The Knicks were also without guards Steve Francis (knee) and Quentin Richardson (back).
12/19 00:28:08 ET