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Knicks hit season-high 61.8 percent from field

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coming off one of their worst defensive efforts
of the season, the New York Knicks were determined to make things
right before the remote possibility of making the playoffs shrunk
even further.

That fix came in the fourth quarter, and their defensive stand
transformed a close game into a rout.

Stephon Marbury had 26 points and a season-high 16 assists, and
the New York Knicks used a late 21-1 run to defeat the Golden State
Warriors 115-99 Sunday night.

Winning at home for the sixth straight time in the opener of a
four-game homestand, the Knicks were crisp at both ends of the
floor.

"Everything is predicated on defense," Marbury said. "We just
stepped up. We really wanted to win this game, and we played like
we wanted to win tonight."

Coming off a 22-point loss at Orlando in which they surrendered
layup after layup and allowed the Magic to score 38 first-quarter
points, the Knicks held Golden State without a field goal for an
extended stretch.

After Andris Biedrins dunked for a 93-92 lead with 7:24
remaining, Golden State did not make another basket until Zarko
Cabarkapa's 3-pointer with 1:18 remaining. By then, the Knicks had
expanded their lead to 113-94.

Tim Thomas scored 25 points, Michael Sweetney opened 9-for-9 and
finished with 19 points, and Maurice Taylor shot 7-for-8 and scored
15. The Knicks shot a season-high 61.8 percent.

"We were giving up penetration almost at will," Golden State
coach Mike Montgomery said. "What kept us in it, pretty much, was
their (14) turnovers."

Jason Richardson scored 24 points and Troy Murphy added 23 for
the Warriors, who had their two-game winning streak snapped on the
fourth stop of an eight-game, 12-day road trip.

Marbury gave the Knicks the lead for good by converting a
three-point play following an offensive rebound to make it 95-93
with 6:53 left. Taylor added a three-point play off another
offensive rebound, making it 100-93.

New York remained tied for last place in the Atlantic Division,
5½ games behind Boston.

But if the Knicks (25-34) can string together a few quality
victories before going on the road again (their next three games
are at home against Washington, Seattle and Miami), it's not out of
the realm of possibility for them to move up to eighth place in the
conference. Philadelphia (29-30) currently holds that spot.

"There's a lot of basketball left," Thomas said.

Marbury had assists on the Knicks' first six field goals, and
New York finished the quarter shooting 71 percent (15-for-21).

Sweetney and Marbury were on the bench to begin the second
quarter, and Golden State opened with a 10-2 run to take a 37-34
lead. The Knicks recovered and closed the quarter with a 6-0 run,
including a disputed last-second three-point play by Jermaine
Jackson, to take a 60-50 halftime lead.

Jackson's shot was initially waved off for having left his hand
too late, but the officials ruled he was fouled before the buzzer
and awarded him the basket under the continuation rule. Warriors
coach Mike Montgomery laughed in disgust at the ruling.

Crew chief Tom Washington later explained that since the foul
happened with 0.1 seconds left, that's when the clock should have
stopped.

"When teams get three-point play after three-point play, it
kind of takes the wind out of you," Baron Davis said.

Sweetney's streak of consecutive shots ended when he missed the
Knicks' first shot of the third quarter, but New York managed to
stay ahead for most of the period and took an 83-77 lead into the
fourth quarter behind Marbury's 15 points and 15 assists.

"I just got out and started running the floor early. I got a
lot of deep post-ups and easy layups," said Sweetney, who finished
9-for-12 after his strong start. "I didn't know how many, but I
knew I didn't miss any."

Game notes
Richardson needed seven stitches to close a cut over his
right eyebrow he sustained while diving to the floor for a loose
ball. The task of cleaning up the blood on the court fell to Knicks
trainer Mike Saunders. ... The board of directors of Cablevision,
the Knicks' corporate owner, is expected to meet Monday, and there
has been some speculation that the Knicks might be put up for sale.
James Dolan, chairman of Madison Square Garden and CEO of
Cablevision, is engaged in a power struggle with his father,
Charles Dolan, who appointed four new members to Cablevision's
board of directors last week.