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Francis, Moore ejected as Knicks lose battle to Nets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets played their final preseason game like the NBA Finals.

New York's Steve Francis and New Jersey's Mikki Moore were ejected after a shoving match with 16 seconds left, but the Nets got in the big blow, beating the Knicks 138-121 on Friday night.

Richard Jefferson scored 32 points
to lead the New Jersey Nets.

The Nets finished the exhibition season at 3-5 and the Knicks
were 4-2. Both teams start the regular season Wednesday night. The
Nets will host the Toronto Raptors while the Knicks travel to
Memphis to play the Grizzlies.

Both teams had five players score in double figures in the
high-scoring game. For New Jersey, Vince Carter and rookie Marcus
Williams had 21. Nenad Krstic and Bostjan Nachbar scored 20.

Francis led New York with 39. Stephon Marbury had 24, Eddy
Curry 19, Quentin Richardson 14 and Channing Frye 10.

The Knicks were hurt by turnovers. They committed 27 that led to
39 points. New York had three players foul out -- Richardson, Frye
and Curry.

Jefferson scored 14 points as the Nets led 31-21 after one
quarter. New Jersey closed out the period on a 12-3 run with
Williams the catalyst. He fed Hassan Adams for an ally-oop bucket
before scoring the final four points of the quarter on a jumper and
a driving layup.

Jefferson had another strong period in the second with nine
points to help New Jersey build a 68-57 halftime lead. The Nets
pulled ahead by 19 at 61-42 when Jason Kidd made a 3-pointer.

Francis had 16 in the quarter and Curry 11 as the Knicks chipped
away at the Nets lead. The Knicks continued to give the ball away
with 11 turnovers in the period that the Nets converted into 17
points.

Williams sparked another Nets run at the end of the third
quarter. After New York battled back to pull even at 89 on the
strength of 14 points from Marbury, Williams ignited a 13-4 run to
close out the period. Williams had 10 points in stretch, including
a pair of 3-pointers.