Marcus goes mad
Camby's punch mars Knicks' win
Updated: Tuesday January 16, 2001 7:52 AM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Marcus Camby threw a punch at Danny Ferry and Jeff Van Gundy got in the way. The Knicks' head coach got the worst of it, and Camby hung around Madison Square Garden for nearly an hour after the game looking for more.
On a bizarre afternoon when a blowout turned into a brawl, Van Gundy ended up needing 12-15 stitches to close a cut above his left eye after his head collided with Camby's late in the fourth quarter of New York's 104-82 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
"He got the shot in that everyone of our players would like to do to me. He just got a free one," Van Gundy said afterward, his eye badly swollen and partially covered by a bandage.
Camby, who had been poked in the eye by Ferry, was ejected for throwing a punch, while Van Gundy was led bloodied and dazed back to the locker room for treatment.
After the game, Camby stood outside the San Antonio locker room for 10 minutes until Knicks officials -- including president Dave Checketts, general manager Scott Layden, forward Larry Johnson and several security officers -- persuaded him to leave. Camby then went downstairs to the area where the Spurs' bus was idling and spent another 20 minutes waiting for Ferry as team officials continued to try to calm him down.
Camby was finally persuaded to leave, and nearly a dozen security officers then escorted Ferry to the team bus.
"We were banging around the whole game," Ferry said. "I don't remember doing anything to lead to something like that."
Winning for the ninth time in 10 games and holding their opponent below 100 points for the 31st consecutive game, the Knicks were having one of their best all-around games of the season until late in the fourth.
Camby was poked in the eye by Ferry and was being restrained by his teammates when he lunged after Ferry and threw a windmill punch.
"He poked me in the eye, bloodied me up," Camby, still emotional, told Johnson in the hallway outside San Antonio's locker room. "I wasn't going to hit him until I saw the blood in my eye."
The punch did not hit anybody, but Camby collided with Van Gundy as the coach jumped between them -- much like Van Gundy did in a fight between the Knicks' Larry Johnson and the Heat's Alonzo Mourning during the 1998 playoffs.
Van Gundy stayed down for about a minute before getting up, blood dripping down his face.
"I'm getting there," Van Gundy said. "Last time I got their guy, this time I got my guy. Next time I'll stay the heck out of the way."
Camby faces a mandatory suspension under NBA rules for throwing a punch.
Houston, Sprewell and Rice each shot over 50 percent while Camby blocked six shots and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who were coming off a 15-point victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
"I thought that was our best game of the year," Van Gundy said. "Our guys were really ready and that's what the focus should be on."
Houston scored 11 points in the first quarter, including two 3-pointers in the first 3:40, and the Knicks took their first double-digit lead on an alley-oop dunk by Camby with 3:11 left in the first half.
New York closed the second quarter with a 6-0 run to open a 15-point lead, then played nearly flawlessly in the third. Camby blocked four shots in the quarter, which ended with New York holding an 85-61 lead.
Houston hit the first basket of the fourth, and the lead was up to 24 when a yo-yo was thrown on the court. Chris Childs of the Knicks picked it up and played with it before passing it off to a referee in what turned out to be the last lighthearted moment of the game.
Camby went after Ferry a few minutes later with the score 99-79.
Notes: The Knicks hosted a Martin Luther King Day matinee for the 19th consecutive year and won for the 18th time. ... Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected early in the third quarter. Assistant coach Hank Egan took over. ... New York improved to 10-5 against teams from the West, while San Antonio dropped to 10-5 against the East. ... The Knicks are 17-1 when scoring 90 points or more. ... The Knicks swept the season series..