10:00 PM ET, December 13, 2008
Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
Knicks score 43 in first, Harrington finishes with 33 points as Knicks near .500
Harrington made five 3-pointers and scored 33 points Saturday night, helping the Knicks beat the slumping Sacramento Kings 114-90.
• David Lee, who had double-doubles in 10 straight games before grabbing just one rebound in his last game, crashed the glass for 19 boards against the Kings.
• The Kings, the second-worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA entering the game, will likely fall to worst as they shot just 3-for-23 (13 percent).
• No Sacramento player scored more than 14 points, and the Kings have lost 10 of their last 11.
-- ESPN research
"[Harrington] is a guy who's a shot-maker and plays solid defense," said teammate David Lee, who dominated the inside with 17 points and 19 rebounds. "He plays great in this kind of [uptempo] system, he played in a similar system at Golden State."
Although the Knicks only used seven players for much of the game, it was so one-sided in the fourth quarter that even Jerome James earned playing time. A hefty-looking reserve center, James had two points and two rebounds in nearly four minutes. He played a total of five minutes all last season.
Although James had his teammates laughing and cheering for him in the game's closing minutes, it was Harrington providing considerable entertainment with another great effort.
Led by the streak-shooting Harrington, the Knicks got going early, scoring 43 first-quarter points. Harrington delivered again in the third quarter, scoring 16 points, including 11 straight, to help keep the lead in double digits. Harrington made 11 of 20 shots and collected six rebounds and four assists.
"This is a dream come true, I've been waiting for this my whole career," said Harrington, who is averaging nearly 26 points in his 10 games with the Knicks. "This is a great situation for me. Me being on the perimeter, I'm always in a position where I can catch the ball and make a play. But at the end of the day it's about wins and getting into the playoffs, which is a goal for us."
After missing seven of the past eight games with a strained groin, point guard Nate Robinson had 19 points for the Knicks, who won their second straight and moved within a game of .500 at 11-12. Tim Thomas scored 11 points and Chris Duhon added 10 points and eight assists.
The Knicks have won two straight road games for the first time since last January. They will try to make it three in a row when coach Mike D'Antoni returns to Phoenix on Monday for the first time since leaving last summer after coaching the Suns for 4½ seasons.
"Our team is on a mission, we're trying to win as many games as possible," Robinson said. "This system is the best, we're having a lot of fun right now."
It hasn't been much fun lately for the Kings, who have dropped two straight and 10 of 11. Typically a formidable team at home, the Kings fell to 4-9 at Arco Arena, where they have lost nine of 10 games.
The Knicks shot 49 percent and made 13 of 27 3-pointers in improving to 4-8 on the road this season. Kings coach Reggie Theus blamed his defense for the barrage of open shots.
"I just thought our guys got burned on the perimeter, guys got burned underneath the basket," said Theus, who was heckled throughout the game by fans sitting near the Kings bench. "Sometimes you just have to guard your own man and then stick to our principles."
After the Kings cut the New York lead to 12 points in the third quarter with a 16-3 run, Harrington took over. He made three 3-pointers and had 11 straight points for the Knicks, who took a 93-71 lead into the fourth quarter.
"We were stagnant, struggling, stuck on 79 points," Harrington said. "I looked at what was going on and knew we needed an outburst."
Pushing the tempo throughout the opening half and getting little resistance from the Kings defensively, the Knicks led 69-45. Harrington scored 17 points and Lee dominated Sacramento's big men, getting 16 points and 11 rebounds. New York shot 59 percent and made six 3-pointers, including five in the first quarter.
"I think that it has been our problem for a while, we get up for certain games, but not consistently enough for all of them," Spencer Hawes said. "Seems like everything that we have done well in the last two games [against the Lakers], even though we lost yesterday, we reverted back."
The Kings played without leading scorer Kevin Martin, who is out with a sore left ankle. He has missed 14 of the last 16 games and the Kings have gone 3-11 in his absence.
It couldn't have gone much better for the Knicks in the opening quarter. With both Lee and Harrington scoring nine points, the Knicks ran their offense to perfection in shooting 75 percent and outscoring the Kings 43-21. The listless Kings were outrebounded 17-3 and were hearing boos midway through the quarter from a home crowd that has had little to cheer about this season.
Quentin Richardson of the Knicks missed the game with the flu. ... Sacramento's three first-quarter rebounds tied a franchise mark for futility. ... The Knicks played only seven players in the opening half and all of them scored six or more points.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||43-87 (.494)||36-98 (.367)|
|3PM-3PA||13-27 (.481)||3-23 (.130)|
|FTM-FTA||15-21 (.714)||15-19 (.789)|
|Fast Break Points||8||20|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||20 (1/0)||18 (1/0)|