Struggle Continues
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New York vs Boston
99 - 102
Record: 5-11
The Knicks used for the first time this season throwbacks jerseys (AP)
The Knicks used for the first time this season throwbacks jerseys (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Ricky Davis scored 27 points and made two free throws with 8.7 seconds left, then Nate Robinson missed a long 3-pointer on the game's final play as the Boston Celtics beat the Knicks 102-99 Sunday to win their third straight.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 28 points and nine rebounds in the latest in a string of strong performances. Over the last four games, Pierce is averaging 29.8 points and 11 rebounds.

Stephon Marbury led the Knicks with 35 points, 24 of those coming in the first half. With 8.9 seconds left he made two free throws to get New York within 100-99. But Davis hit his two free throws and Robinson was unable to make a big buzzer-beater for the second straight week. Eight days ago, the rookie from Washington made a 3-pointer on the game's final play to give the Knicks a 105-102 overtime win against Philadelphia.

Marbury was 17-of-21 from the free-throw line overall in a game where the Knicks went 35-for-46. Rookie Channing Frye set a career high with 25 points, his third straight game with at least 21.

Delonte West added 17 points for the Celtics.

New York center Eddy Curry was a non-factor in his first appearance after missing five games with a strained left calf. He had three points and one rebound in 13:51 of playing time.

The Knicks got a scare with 5:24 left in the third quarter, when West drove for a dunk. Jamal Crawford was trailing the play and collided under the basket with Marbury, who was coming over to help. Both players went down, and Crawford was helped from the court. He received 11 stitches to close a cut on his chin and didn't return until 44.1 seconds were left in the fourth quarter. Marbury stayed in the game. West was called for a technical for hanging on the rim.

New York struggled to maintain any offensive rhythm in the first half, but was able to get within 46-45 at the break by going 16-for-18 from the free-throw line, including an 8-for-9 performance by Marbury.

Frye was announced as a starter for New York, but he was replaced before the tipoff by Antonio Davis. Frye entered the game with 5:42 left in the first quarter. ... Knicks coach Larry Brown said before the game that maybe a better rivalry would develop between the teams if they played more frequently. But he quickly added, "I also think it's important that both of the teams get better." ... New York center Jerome James said he had to get about 40 tickets to Tuesday night's game in Seattle for friends and family. James spent four seasons with the SuperSonics before signing a five-year, $30 million contract with the Knicks before this season.

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