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W
115
99
New York vs
115 - 99
Record: 25-34
Stephon Marbury & Maurice Taylor in the second half (AP Photo)
Stephon Marbury & Maurice Taylor in the second half (AP Photo)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Coming off one of their worst defensive efforts of the season, the New York Knicks were determined to make things right before the remote possibility of making the playoffs shrunk even further.

That fix came in the fourth quarter, and their defensive stand transformed a close game into a rout.

Stephon Marbury had 26 points and a season-high 16 assists, and the New York Knicks used a late 21-1 run to defeat the Golden State Warriors 115-99 Sunday night.

Winning at home for the sixth straight time in the opener of a four-game homestand, the Knicks were crisp at both ends of the floor.

"Everything is predicated on defense," Marbury said. "We just stepped up. We really wanted to win this game, and we played like we wanted to win tonight."

Coming off a 22-point loss at Orlando in which they surrendered layup after layup and allowed the Magic to score 38 first-quarter points, the Knicks held Golden State without a field goal for an extended stretch.

After Andris Biedrins dunked for a 93-92 lead with 7:24 remaining, Golden State did not make another basket until Zarko Cabarkapa's 3-pointer with 1:18 remaining. By then, the Knicks had expanded their lead to 113-94.

Tim Thomas scored 25 points, Michael Sweetney opened 9-for-9 and finished with 19 points, and Maurice Taylor shot 7-for-8 and scored 15. The Knicks shot a season-high 61.8 percent.

"We were giving up penetration almost at will," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. "What kept us in it, pretty much, was their (14) turnovers."

Jason Richardson scored 24 points and Troy Murphy added 23 for the Warriors, who had their two-game winning streak snapped on the fourth stop of an eight-game, 12-day road trip.

Marbury gave the Knicks the lead for good by converting a three-point play following an offensive rebound to make it 95-93 with 6:53 left. Taylor added a three-point play off another offensive rebound, making it 100-93.

New York remained tied for last place in the Atlantic Division, 5 1/2 games behind Boston.

But if the Knicks (25-34) can string together a few quality victories before going on the road again (their next three games are at home against Washington, Seattle and Miami), it's not out of the realm of possibility for them to move up to eighth place in the conference. Philadelphia (29-30) currently holds that spot.

"There's a lot of basketball left," Thomas said.

Marbury had assists on the Knicks' first six field goals, and New York finished the quarter shooting 71 percent (15-for-21).

Sweetney and Marbury were on the bench to begin the second quarter, and Golden State opened with a 10-2 run to take a 37-34 lead. The Knicks recovered and closed the quarter with a 6-0 run, including a disputed last-second three-point play by Jermaine Jackson, to take a 60-50 halftime lead.

Jackson's shot was initially waved off for having left his hand too late, but the officials ruled he was fouled before the buzzer and awarded him the basket under the continuation rule. Warriors coach Mike Montgomery laughed in disgust at the ruling.

Crew chief Tom Washington later explained that since the foul happened with 0.1 seconds left, that's when the clock should have stopped.

"When teams get three-point play after three-point play, it kind of takes the wind out of you," Baron Davis said.

Sweetney's streak of consecutive shots ended when he missed the Knicks' first shot of the third quarter, but New York managed to stay ahead for most of the period and took an 83-77 lead into the fourth quarter behind Marbury's 15 points and 15 assists.

"I just got out and started running the floor early. I got a lot of deep post-ups and easy layups," said Sweetney, who finished 9-for-12 after his strong start. "I didn't know how many, but I knew I didn't miss any."

Notes:
Richardson needed seven stitches to close a cut over his right eyebrow he sustained while diving to the floor for a loose ball. The task of cleaning up the blood on the court fell to Knicks trainer Mike Saunders. ... The board of directors of Cablevision, the Knicks' corporate owner, is expected to meet Monday, and there has been some speculation that the Knicks might be put up for sale. James Dolan, chairman of Madison Square Garden and CEO of Cablevision, is engaged in a power struggle with his father, Charles Dolan, who appointed four new members to Cablevision's board of directors last week.

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