Work in Sports
Knicks even series with rough-and-tumble win
Posted: Wednesday May 10, 2000 02:40 PM
MIAMI (AP) -- Once again, the New York Knicks negated the Miami Heat's home-court advantage.
In a sloppy game with more slapstick than a Broadway farce, the Knicks beat the Heat 82-76 Tuesday to even the best-of-seven series at 1-1.
The teams have met in the playoffs the past four years, splitting the first two games in Miami every time. New York went on to eliminate the Heat the past two seasons.
Heat coach Pat Riley noted that his players once again squandered the home-court edge they worked for 82 regular-season games to earn.
"You work that hard, and we gave it all back in one two-hour stand," Riley said.
Game 3 will be Friday at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks evened the series despite plenty of ugly moments. Marcus Camby missed a dunk. Patrick Ewing hit the side of the backboard with a jumper. Camby and Kurt Thomas wrestled each other for a rebound and dropped the ball out of bounds.
Somehow, New York still built an 18-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, then withstood a late Miami charge.
The Heat shot just 34 percent, tying a franchise playoff low, and they missed 14 of 33 free throws, including seven in a row in the first half.
"Our free-throw defense was outstanding," Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy joked.
"It was an ugly game out there," said Jamal Mashburn, who led Miami with 25 points. "We've got to make free throws. That probably would have bailed us out."
The Knicks shot 26 percent in the first half and still led by four. They finally pulled away in the third quarter.
"The rock wasn't going in the hole," Van Gundy said. "That was some bad shooting in that first half."
Ewing and Charlie Ward had 13 points each for the Knicks, who had six players in double figures.
"Charlie hit some big shots for them," Heat forward P.J. Brown said. "He was the X-factor. He deserves a lot of credit for their win."
Ward sank a pair of 3-pointers and had six rebounds and no turnovers in 37 minutes.
"I'm not a superstar. I don't get a lot of press," he said. "But you need guys to help pull a team together. I've been trying to do that since I got here."
Alonzo Mourning had 17 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks for Miami. Tim Hardaway, playing with a sore left foot, had 13 points and three assists in 30 minutes.
"It was sort of a surreal game," Riley said. "We rebounded and played well enough defensively, but offensively we were horrendous. Instead of taking the ball strong to the basket, we settled for long jumpers and that hope game we get into at times."
As the Knicks promised, Game 2 was more physical than the first game. There were 60 fouls, compared with 40 on Sunday when Miami won 87-83.
"We wanted this game more than anything," Knicks guard Latrell Sprewell said. "We showed that, even though we didn't play well offensively. We got the job done at the defensive end."
Ewing, Sprewell and Allan Houston -- New York's leading scorers this season -- were a combined 3-for-24 in the first half. Sprewell finished 2-for-13 and Houston 3-for-14.
Houston was 1-for-10 before dunking a follow, and the Knicks made their next three shots for a 48-40 lead.
After Miami closed to 51-50 late in the third period, New York went on a 21-4 run. Three-pointers by Ward and Chris Childs sparked the spurt that gave the Knicks a 72-54 lead with seven minutes to go.
Miami staged a 13-2 run to close to 78-67 with 2 1/2 minutes left, but Ewing hit a follow and two free throws to clinch the win.
The Heat held their last lead at 13-12 before New York scored 11 consecutive points.
"Very frustrating," Brown said. "Everybody is going to go home with a bad taste in their mouth. We definitely should have won and gone up 2-0. Would have, could have, should have."
Notes: Say Again? Dept.: Said Heat coach Pat Riley before the
game, "The past is dead. The future is tonight for the present
moment." ... Heat reserve forward Otis Thorpe came into the game
with a career field-goal percentage of .580 in the playoffs, second
in NBA history only to James Donaldson's .627. ... The Knicks won
for the first time in four games at new AmericanAirlines Arena. The
Heat lost at home for only the third time in their past 28 home
games. ... Miami also shot 34 percent in a loss to Chicago on May