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.

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