Easy win on "Nationals"
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New York vs
113 - 101
Record: 22-33
Stephon Marbury shots over Marc Jackson (AP Photo)
Stephon Marbury shots over Marc Jackson (AP Photo)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Kurt Thomas was so happy to be staying with the New York Knicks, he almost couldn't miss.

Thomas celebrated the passing of another uneventful trading deadline -- at least for him -- by scoring 21 points on 10-for-11 shooting to lead the New York Knicks past the Philadelphia 76ers 113-101 Thursday night.

"I haven't been moved yet, so I might end up finishing my career here," said Thomas, whose name was mentioned most frequently in pre-deadline trade speculation.

Thomas also grabbed 12 rebounds, and Tim Thomas shot 10-for-14 and scored 27 points for New York.

Philadelphia, which had only eight players in uniform -- none of them named Chris Webber -- was led by Allen Iverson's 29 points. Webber, acquired late Wednesday night from Sacramento, will make his Philadelphia debut Saturday against his old team, the Kings. He did not travel with the Sixers.

Stephon Marbury had 17 points and 12 assists, and Jamal Crawford added 16 points and nine assists for New York, which also was short-handed after trading Nazr Mohammed, Moochie Norris, Vin Baker and Jamison Brewer earlier in the day.

The Knicks outscored Philadelphia 32-22 in the fourth quarter to secure the win. Tim Thomas had 14 points in the final period, going 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, while Kurt Thomas had 12 on 6-for-6 shooting.

"If we play (power forward and center), it's going to be hell on people because we're such good shooters," Tim Thomas said. "It's going to force guys that aren't used to coming out of the paint to have to come out and try and contain us."

Philadelphia, which needed to have eight players in uniform, brought journeyman Jason Lawson to New York in case an extra body was necessary. But Rodney Rogers -- acquired from New Orleans earlier in the day in a three-player trade -- flew to New York aboard Hornets owner George Shinn's private jet and arrived at the arena less than an hour before tipoff, prompting the Sixers to send Lawson home.

Rogers scored just six points in 20 minutes, and he missed a 3-pointer and a layup on Philadelphia's first two possessions of the fourth quarter as the Knicks opened the period with an 8-0 run to take an 89-79 lead.

Philadelphia closed within five before Kurt Thomas hit a pair of corner jumpers, making him 9-for-10 from the field and giving the Knicks a nine-point lead with 6:30 left. Tim Thomas added three 3-pointers over the final 4:20.

"I don't care who is on our basketball team," 76ers coach Jim O'Brien said. "Our team has to make a decision, at some point and time, that we are going to pay the price and be a good defensive basketball team.

"You defend, you win. If you don't, you lose," O'Brien said.

Kurt Thomas started at center and is expected to man that position for the remainder of the regular season.

He spoke with Isiah Thomas on the telephone after the 3 p.m. trade deadline passed, and the Knicks' president reminded him he kept his word by not dealing him away.

"I hear (trade rumors) every year," Kurt Thomas said. "Wouldn't you be interested in what I do out there?"

Five members of the International Olympic Committee's selection delegation, who finished a four-day inspection visit to New York earlier in the day, sat front and center on celebrity row -- the best seats in the house. One of the delegates held his hands out when the Knicks' dancers were throwing T-shirts into the stands during the fourth quarter, but he didn't get the freebie. ... Despite their shortage of big men and bodies, the Knicks did not use 7-foot-2 center Bruno Sundov.

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