Double OT Win
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W
121
117
New York vs Atlanta
121 - 117
Record: 18-45
Jamal Crawford led New York With 21 points (MSG Photo)
Jamal Crawford led New York With 21 points (MSG Photo)
NEW YORK (AP) - Knicks coach Larry Brown warned Stephon Marbury and the rest of the New York starters before the game: The guys who play best will play the most.

After New York gave up 34 points in the third quarter, Brown went with his reserves for the rest of the game and the Knicks responded with a 121-117 double-overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

"This is a team game," Brown said. "I want guys who play hard, try to defend, share the ball and make their teammates better."

Nate Robinson scored five of his 18 points in the second overtime and Qyntel Woods added 18 points, going 8-for-8 from the field. New York's bench outscored Atlanta 77-17.

"I think we didn't have much defensive intensity at all in the third quarter," Brown said. "The third quarter was not what we expected, so I wanted to put the young kids in and they brought us back into the game. I didn't think it would be fair if I took them out."

Jamal Crawford led New York (18-45) with 21 points.

"Guys just played hard, everybody that came in contributed," Crawford said. "It was a fun game and in games like that it feels even better coming out on top."

With the game matching two of the NBA's worst teams, most of the attention was focused on Brown and Marbury, who have been feuding in the media over the last few days after Marbury's comments over the weekend that he needed to be more offensive minded because Brown's way wasn't leading to enough wins.

Brown responded Monday night by saying he had already given Marbury more freedom than any guard he had ever coached.

They continued their bickering at Wednesday's shootaround, with Marbury saying, "I'm no longer going to allow him to say things about me and I'm not going to say anything back. I allowed him to drag me the first three or four months in the paper. But I'm not taking it no more."

Marbury scored all of his eight points in the first half, going 2-for-7 from the field and 4-for-10 from the foul line. He sat out the entire fourth quarter and overtime periods, joined by fellow high-priced veterans like Steve Francis and Jalen Rose .

"Today was a great day," Robinson said. "I want to win, so I'm going to do whatever it takes to get everyone involved and having fun and getting the crowd involved and just playing hard to help out the team."

Hawks coach Mike Woodson was impressed by the Knicks' reserves.

"Their bench was tremendous tonight," Woodson said. "They had more energy when they came in. You've got to give them a lot of credit."

Robinson scored all of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime periods.

"I let the game come to me and get everybody involved," Robinson said.

He hit a 15-footer with 1:33 left in the second overtime to tie the game at 117, then added one of two free throws with 1:10 left to give New York a 118-117 lead.

"I was thrilled. The young kids have been working hard and it shows," Brown said. "They played together well and they defended well, made some big plays and that's a reward in itself."

Crawford added another free throw with 32 seconds left to make it a two-point lead.

Joe Johnson had two chances in the final 24 seconds to tie the game. He missed an 8-footer, and when Marvin Williams stole the rebound, Johnson missed a floater in the lane with 4 seconds left.

"He had two good looks at it, shots he normally makes" Woodson said. "It's just the bounce of the ball."

Jackie Butler was fouled on the rebound and added two free throws with 2.9 seconds left for the final margin.

Johnson finished with 36 points and Al Harrington added 28 for the Hawks (20-42), who have lost five of six.

Both teams had chances to win the game in the first overtime. With the game tied at 109, Johnson missed an 18-footer from the top of the key with 14 seconds left. Crawford then missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

New York was trailing by eight heading into the fourth quarter and was down 78-69 before Robinson sparked a 15-6 run with a 3-pointer. Crawford capped the run with a free throw to tie it at 84.

"In the fourth quarter, we were phenomenal," Brown said. "It would've been a crime, as hard as our guys fought back, not to have anything positive to show for it."

New York took a 95-90 lead on Crawford's free throw, before Atlanta closed the fourth period on a 7-2 run. Josh Smith tied the game at 97 with 37 seconds left in regulation.

After Robinson missed a baseline floater with 25 seconds left, the Hawks had one last chance, but Johnson's 18-footer from the wing with less than 2 seconds left hit the front rim, sending the game into overtime.

"I can't fault our guys and their effort," Woodson said. "We were our own worst enemy tonight coming down the stretch."

Zaza Pachulia had a career-high 26 points before fouling out in the second overtime for the Hawks.

Notes: Knicks G Quentin Richardson sat out with a sprained thumb injured on Monday in a loss to Denver. Brown said that Richardson can't catch a ball and hopes to have him back for Friday night's matchup with Detroit. ... Atlanta G Josh Childress missed his fifth straight game with a sprained ankle. ... Pachulia's previous career high was 23 points on Dec. 23 against Philadelphia.

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