Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/4

Game 1: Monday, November 4th
Game 2: Saturday, December 21st
Game 3: Saturday, February 1st
Game 4: Sunday, March 16th

Bucks 111

(32-35, 14-19 away)

Knicks 120

(29-37, 20-15 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:00 PM ET, March 16, 2003

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 28 35 24 24111
    NY 28 41 21 30120

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee: D. Mason 23 Pts, 12 Reb, 4 Ast

    New York: A. Houston 50 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast

    Houston, Knicks hand Bucks fouth straight loss

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Allan Houston's second 50-point game of the season kept New York's slim playoff hopes alive.

    Houston scored 50 points, reaching that number with the crowd on its feet in the closing seconds, as the New York Knicks handed the Milwaukee Bucks their fourth straight loss, 120-111 Sunday night.

    "Walking on the court, someone made mention 'Go get your 50 cent piece,''' said Houston, who wasn't sure which teammate made the fourth-quarter comment. "When I got it my next time, I shot a short 5-footer, so it messed me up.''

    Houston scored on his final chance, though, and his fourth career game with at least 40 points snapped New York's two-game losing streak and moved the Knicks a game closer to one of the teams they are chasing for the eighth playoff spot in the East.

    Houston's 50-point effort was the league's sixth of the season. Laker Kobe Bryant has also scored 50 twice, while New Orleans' Jamal Mashburn and Orlando's Tracy McGrady have each done it once.

    "It's just fun. It was a lot of fun,'' Houston said with a smile that had been missing in the Knicks' two previous games -- last-second losses to Memphis and Atlanta.

    Houston, scoring against everyone Milwaukee tried to guard him with, had 10 straight as the Knicks pulled away -- including New York's first seven points of the fourth quarter.

    Desmond Mason and Gary Payton each had 23 points and Tim Thomas added 22 for the Bucks, who dropped a half-game behind the Washington Wizards in the conference standings. The Knicks are three games behind the Wizards.

    New York went to the line 44 times for 40 points, with Houston going 18-for-18.

    The Knicks went 14-for-34 on 3-pointers, with Houston hitting six and Charlie Ward making five.

    Houston's 3-pointer with 31.3 seconds left in the third quarter put the Knicks up 90-85, and he followed with a pair of free throws, a turnaround jumper and a fast-break 3-pointer to start the fourth as the Knicks went up 97-91.

    "He shot the ball really well. He deserved what he got,'' Payton said. "In the fourth quarter we were only down one and we made silly mistakes, you know, defensive mistakes and they pulled away.''

    Houston then scored six straight points to put the Knicks up 105-96, and Mason, who had defended him most of the game, gave way to Sam Cassell. Houston hit a baseline jumper with 4:10 left, then with the crowd calling for the Knicks to find him, he shook Cassell with 15 seconds left for his final jumper.

    "I'll remember that last moment as much as anything. Having the crowd cheer for you like that, it's a great feeling,'' Houston said. "I've been on the other end of those chants, but it did feel good to have that.''

    Payton, acquired for in a Feb. 20 trade with Seattle, scored 14 points in the second half, including a third-quarter drive that gave the Bucks an 83-80 lead, but never guarded Houston.

    "When we made the trade, we thought we were going to do it for defense, and in a very strange way we haven't shown that yet,'' Milwaukee coach George Karl said. "In the second half (Houston) was the best player on the court, and it's difficult to beat a team with the lead and the best player on the court.''

    Game notes

    Milwaukee F Anthony Mason, who played 33 minutes in the Bucks' loss to the Lakers Saturday before leaving with a strained left hip, did not dress for the game. He is day-to-day. ... Knicks coach Don Chaney said his team was not approaching this game as a must-win, despite the tight race for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Cassell had different thoughts about Milwaukee's chances: "I don't know how they feel, but our backs are against the wall,'' he said. ... Payton's first basket moved him into 43rd on the NBA's career scoring list. He passed Mark Aguirre, who finished his career with 18,458 points. ... The Knicks avoided a season sweep by the Bucks, who were looking for their first undefeated season against New York since the 1990-91 season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 111 120
    FGM-FGA 42-87 (.483) 33-75 (.440)
    3PM-3PA 7-21 (.333) 14-34 (.412)
    FTM-FTA 20-23 (.870) 40-44 (.909)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-35 11-39
    Assists 20 23
    Turnovers 8 7
    Steals 2 4
    Blocks 0 3
    Fast Break Points 3 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (2/0) 23 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Desmond Mason Mason
    Points: 23
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Allan Houston Houston
    Points: 50
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0