Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/6

Game 1: Tuesday, December 6th
Game 2: Sunday, January 8th

SuperSonics 116


Knicks 120

(10-21, 7-8 home)

Coverage: MSG

1:00 PM ET, January 8, 2006

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 35 27 27 27116
NY 25 36 30 29120

Top Performers

Sea: R. Allen 33 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

NY: S. Marbury 23 Pts, 1 Reb, 15 Ast, 4 Stl

Marbury sparks Knicks past Sonics

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Knicks are enjoying their best stretch of the season, and they know who is mostly responsible for it.

Stephon Marbury had 23 points and a season-high 15 assists, the final one setting up rookie David Lee for the tiebreaking basket with 21 seconds left, and the Knicks beat the Seattle SuperSonics 120-116 Sunday for their season-high third straight win.

Playing 44 minutes without injured guard Jamal Crawford, Marbury had only turnover.

"When Marbury gets 15 assists and one turnover without Jamal in the game, you realize why we won," Knicks coach Larry Brown said. "He was phenomenal."

The Knicks' first three-game winning streak since last February coincides with Marbury's best span of the season. He is averaging 23.5 points and 12 assists over the last four games -- all since he was criticized by Brown following a poor performance in a loss to Orlando when he was 0-for-7 from the field.

"It is everyone. It is not just myself," Marbury said. "We are just more comfortable. We have a really nice flow right now."

Maurice Taylor also scored 23 points and Eddy Curry added 22 for the Knicks, who erased a 12-point first-half deficit. Nate Robinson finished with 17 points.

With the game tied at 113 after Ray Allen's miss, the Knicks ran the shot clock down before Marbury found Lee in the corner for a jumper.

"My man really has to make a decision whether to give Stephon a layup, because Stephon's going to usually 80 percent of the time get by his man, or step up and give me that jump shot," Lee said.

Seattle had a chance to tie, but Luke Ridnour -- who came into the game shooting a league-leading 95 percent (76-of-80) from the line for the season -- missed two free throws with 9.8 seconds remaining. Trevor Ariza rebounded and was fouled, making both free throws for a four-point advantage.

"The first one just rolled off," Ridnour said. "Unfortunately you make so many in a row and then you miss those. I can't explain why. It's real disappointing I'm going to make those nine out of 10 times."

Brown couldn't explain it either.

"Trevor, who's not a great free throw shooter, hasn't been in a lot of crucial situations, he gets a rebound and makes two," he said. "David makes a jump shot, which is something he passed up about five or six opportunities. ... a 95 percent free throw shooter misses two. I don't know. Those things are hard to understand."

Vladimir Radmanovic's eighth 3-pointer made it 117-116, but Robinson answered with two free throws with 6.1 to play. Allen was surprisingly open for a tying 3-point attempt but missed, and Lee made one free throw for the final margin.

"I had a great look at it," Allen said. "After the shot, after I missed I was just thinking to myself I could have even take a dribble because I was so wide open."

Radmanovic scored a career-high 30 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter. He scored five straight points to give the Sonics a 113-111 lead with just over a minute remaining before Curry tied it for the final time with two free throws.

Allen scored for 33 points for the Sonics, who fell to 1-2 since firing Bob Weiss and replacing him with former Knicks coach Bob Hill. Rashard Lewis added 19.

"They did a lot of good things tonight," Hill said. "In spite of losing the game, I have to feel good about the progress that we've made in a short amount of time."

The Sonics shot 64 percent in the first quarter to open a 35-25 lead. Robinson scored seven straight points to key a 12-2 run that gave the Knicks a one-point lead with 1:52 remaining in the half, and Seattle took a 61-62 lead into the break.

Allen scored 22 points in the half.

There were eight lead changes and four ties in the third quarter. Marbury scored 11 straight New York points, and his layup with 1 second remaining gave the Knicks a 91-89 lead entering the final period.

Game Notes
The Sonics lost for the first time in four Sunday games this season. ... Knicks swingman Quentin Richardson returned after missing three straight games with back spasms. ... Crawford missed his second in a row because of sprained left foot.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 116 120
FGM-FGA 42-93 (.452) 42-81 (.519)
3PM-3PA 14-35 (.400) 4-11 (.364)
FTM-FTA 18-27 (.667) 32-38 (.842)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 19-41 14-40
Assists 22 23
Turnovers 12 14
Steals 5 5
Blocks 2 2
Fast Break Points 8 4
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (0/0) 25 (1/0)
Largest Lead 12 6

Top Performers

New York
Ray Allen Allen
Points: 33
Reb: 6
Ast: 4
Stl: 3
Blk: 0
Stephon Marbury Marbury
Points: 23
Reb: 1
Ast: 15
Stl: 4
Blk: 0