Crawford outdoes LeBron as Knicks win
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98
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New York vs
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Record: 4-5
NEW YORK (AP) -- Judging merely by the motion Jamal Crawford was using on his jump shot, it was clear he had leapt into the realm players call "The Zone."

Crawford scored 13 of his 24 points during a fourth quarter in which the Knicks held LeBron James scoreless and kept him from his first career triple-double, leading New York past Cleveland 98-88 Sunday night.

"We caught fire. We put hands up and he still hit those shots," Cleveland's Drew Gooden said. "You knew he was on fire because he wasn't even following through."

Crawford also had five assists, and Kurt Thomas had 16 points and 14 rebounds to help New York end Cleveland's six-game winning streak.

Gooden led Cleveland with 25 points and 15 rebounds, Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 21 and James had 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Thomas gave the Knicks the momentum for good by hitting consecutive jumpers from the corner for an 85-79 lead. Back-to-back baskets by Crawford, the latter a 3-pointer, made it 90-81 before Ilgauskas shot an airball and Penny Hardaway converted a jumper.

The crowd at Madison Square Garden took particular glee in Crawford's offensive show, growing ever more comfortable with a newcomer who brings added quickness and unpredictability to a position manned by Allan Houston for so many recent years.

"I definitely feel like we have a connection, honestly," Crawford said. "They appreciate good basketball, and what me and my teammates are trying to do is win for them."

Stephon Marbury added 12 points and 10 assists for the Knicks, who shot a season-high 53.3 percent.

The Knicks had a 15-3 run in the second quarter to go ahead 48-33, but James led the Cavs back in the third quarter with four assists as Cleveland closed the period with a 25-10 run to pull to 73-71.

But that was as close as they Cavs could get, the Knicks using their defensive schemes to keep the ball out of James' hands in the early part of the fourth quarter.

Cleveland's last chance slipped away when James lost the ball on a drive with under 90 seconds left and New York ahead 96-88.

"It was a team effort trying to put him in a situation where if he came off a pick and roll, trap him and get the ball out of his hands and make someone else beat us," Hardaway said. "They didn't get any transition baskets in the fourth quarter, so he couldn't get going like he did in the third."

Notes
The Knicks activated point guard Jamison Brewer and placed G Moochie Norris on the injured list. .. New York guard Allan Houston, out since late last season with chronic knee soreness, participated in the team's morning shootaround but has not yet been cleared to scrimmage. ... Cleveland was trying to match its longest winning streak from last season. ... The Cavs have not played a game decided by five points or less. ... The Knicks had lost their previous five games against Cleveland.

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