Knicks play shorthanded; Nets without Kidd

Updated: December 5, 2007, 11:52 PM ET
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Stephon Marbury missed the New York Knicks' victory at New Jersey on Wednesday night, three days after his father's death.

Donald Marbury was taken from Madison Square Garden to a hospital during halftime of the Knicks' loss to Phoenix on Sunday night and died before the game ended.

Though Knicks coach Isiah Thomas left open the possibility earlier Wednesday that Stephon Marbury could travel to New Jersey, the point guard didn't attend the Knicks' 100-93 win.

Marbury sent a statement during the game, thanking fans for their "outpouring of support, heartfelt prayers and words of encouragement."

Marbury also thanked the police and the American Diabetes Foundation before adding: "My father left his legacy [where] he always wanted us to finish playing, at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN... ."

The Knicks also were without starting center Eddy Curry, while the Nets were missing All-Star Jason Kidd.

Kidd, who has often excelled against the Knicks since his trade to New Jersey in 2001, was not in uniform because of a migraine.

"You catch a team without Jason, you can see the type of difference he makes," Thomas said. "We were fortunate enough to catch them on a night that he wasn't playing. We were down two guys also, but the Nets are definitely a different team without Kidd. I'm glad we didn't have to see him tonight."

Thomas said he wasn't sure how long the Knicks would be without Marbury. Don Marbury's funeral is Thursday in Brooklyn, and Thomas said the team planned to attend.

"In these situations, you always prepare that the player is not going to play," Thomas said before the game. "And if they feel that they need to play, some players play through this process and it makes them feel better and some handle it differently."

Curry sprained his left ankle while running during the morning shootaround. With he and Marbury out, the Knicks were missing two of their top four scorers.

Fred Jones started at guard and had 15 points, while David Lee replaced Curry in the frontcourt and had 13 points and seven rebounds.

Eddie Gill started in Kidd's point guard spot, fouling out with four points and four assists.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press