|New York vs|
|98 - 104|
Mobley scored 34 points in just his second game back from a groin injury and deflected Jamal Crawford's inbounds pass with 18.7 seconds remaining to help the Orlando Magic defeat the New York Knicks 104-98.
"That was timing. I watched his eyes," Mobley said of his deflection, which led to a steal and prevented the Knicks from having a chance for a tying 3-pointer.
"I threw it away, I take credit for this loss," said Crawford, who actually was as much to blame as his backcourt-mate, Stephon Marbury.
Marbury led New York with 28 points, but the 90-percent free-throw shooter missed a pair that would have given the Knicks the lead with 47 seconds left. Francis then made two free throws to put the Magic back ahead for good in a matchup of two first-place teams.
"Basically what we did was steal this one," Mobley said after Orlando snapped New York's six-game home winning streak.
Mobley made six 3-pointers and shot 10-for-21 overall, while Francis had 26 points, six assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
Crawford added 23 points for New York, which got only 10 points from its reserves to Orlando's 39.
Grant Hill scored 21 points for the Magic, who were without Mobley for nine straight games until he returned Wednesday against Toronto.
Mobley also made a key play on the offensive boards in the final minute.
After Marbury drove around Francis and hit a floater from the lane to give the Knicks a 96-95 lead with 58 seconds left, Francis put the Magic back in front.
Marbury, who had made 48 of his previous 49 free throws coming into this game, was fouled on a drive and missed two from the line.
"I didn't think I was going to miss, but it happens," Marbury said. "You have to rebound from it."
Francis' off-target jumper was rebounded by Mobley with 24 seconds left, and the Knicks were forced to foul. Francis' pair from the line made it a three-point game with 18.7 seconds left to set up Crawford's turnover off the inbounds play near midcourt.
"This is one that got away from us, but we're making great strides," said Knicks coach Lenny Wilkens, whose team now embarks on a four-game road trip having won five of seven games. "We're playing the way I want us to play, we were just a little flat tonight."
Marbury had six assists and Crawford scored 10 points in a first quarter that ended with New York ahead 28-23, and Marbury scored 13 in the second quarter to lead the Knicks to a 59-49 halftime lead.
A 16-1 run in the third quarter got the Magic back into it.
Mobley not only had the most points, he had the pass of the night on a high-arching lob to Francis for a dunk off a 3-on-1 break midway through the fourth quarter. ... Knicks G Allan Houston has grown hazy on the date of his comeback. After indicating it could come during New York's four-game road trip, he said Friday: "It's not up to me anymore. That's all I'm saying." ... The Magic have scored 100 points in five consecutive games.