Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Knicks win, keep playoff hopes alive



The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Howard Eisley hit two 3-pointers as part of an 8-0 run to end the third quarter, putting the New York Knicks in control for good in a 100-90 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

Keeping their slim playoff hopes alive, the Knicks went ahead by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter in sending Toronto to its ninth loss in 10 games.

Kurt Thomas scored 23 and Allan Houston added 20 for the Knicks, while Eisley and Latrell Sprewell scored 13 apiece.

Antonio Davis scored 23 and Vince Carter had 21 for the Raptors, although Carter was held to just five points in the second half.

If the Knicks can move past Washington, there will be only one more team standing between them and the postseason.

"That's what we're thinking, but honestly it's one game at a time," Sprewell said. "You can't look too far ahead, but we are definitely watching the standings and seeing where other teams are. That's why a game like tonight's is very important to win."

Entering a crucial five-game stretch in which they will play the Raptors and Nets twice apiece before traveling to Denver to face the Nuggets, the Knicks probably need to win at least four times to stay in the playoff hunt.

Grizzlies 110, Magic 104

ORLANDO - Pau Gasol scored 26 points and Jason Williams added 17 points and 15 assists as the Memphis Grizzlies beat Orlando, handing the Magic their first loss in five games.

Tracy McGrady had 34 points for the Magic, but hit only one of 10 shots in the second half when the Magic offense sputtered. Gordan Giricek and Pat Garrity had 19 points apiece for Orlando.

Lorenzen Wright had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who won at Orlando for the first time in franchise history. Memphis had been 0-6 at Orlando.

SuperSonics 82, Suns 73

PHOENIX - Rashard Lewis scored 25 of his 29 points in the second half as Seattle dealt the Suns a blow in the fight for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Ray Allen added 22 points for the Sonics, who have won three of four.

Jazz 96, Celtics 91

SALT LAKE CITY - Matt Harpring scored 25 points and Karl Malone had 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Utah Jazz extended their winning streak to four games.

John Stockton, who turns 41 on Wednesday, added 17 points and eight assists for the Jazz, who are No. 6 in the Western Conference playoff standings with 12 games left in the season.

Utah shot 50 percent in the second half (16-for-32) and held the Celtics to one field goal in the final two minutes.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 24 points and eight rebounds.




REDS / BASEBALL
This ballpark's his business
Ticket sales brisk at open house
Look-alikes will play Pete on Opening Day
Red-faced Reitsma reacts
Red Sox 10, Reds 5
RHP Wilson makes progress
Rijo making sixth comeback, not about to quit
Given an opportunity, Blake makes it count
Big Unit receives $33M extension

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals harbor renewed attitude
Rackers says he has room to get better
Palmer shows off in Bengal workout
Europe league on as planned despite the war

XAVIER
Muskies need to fill big hole in frontcourt
Musketeer women surpassed expectations

UC BEARCATS
Bearcats return solid nucleus

MEN'S TOURNAMENT - (SPECIAL SECTION)
Anonymity suits UK's opponent
Backyard brothers go national
Life as a mid-major
Round of 16 has eight interesting matchups
Davis out of line blaming his players
Pitino 'delighted' with Louisville's season
Irish seem out of place with other teams in West
Hard-to-please Izzo impressed with Spartans
Coach K unable to pace his young team
Terps use experience, bench in NCAA tournament
A Ford drives top-seeded Texas to San Antonio
Lute Olson is the Poker Face of college hoops
Calhoun: a builder and now a survivor
Basketball players lag in graduation rates
NCAA Men's Tournament at a glance
UNC will face Hoyas in NIT quarters

WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT - (SPECIAL SECTION)
Rivalry reborn as Arkansas set to battle Texas
Teammates for USA are opponents tonight
Purdue wallops Va. Tech, advances to Sweet 16
NCAA Women's Tournament at a glance

PREP SPORTS
Champs savor the moments
Enquirer editorial

NATIONAL SPORTS HEADLINES
PGA: Woods looking like the 2000 version
NBA: Knicks win, keep playoff hopes alive
NHL: O'Connell wins home debut
TENNIS: Venus Williams upset by Shaughnessy

PLAN YOUR DAY
Tuesday's sports on TV, radio