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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- NEW YORK 22 27 24 21 94 NEW JERSEY 22 20 24 31 97 FINAL


Box Score

NEW YORK (94) AT NEW JERSEY (97)

NEW YORK REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

HOUSTON F 42 10-19 6-6 0 2 2 6 3 1 4 29 JOHNSON F 35 2-7 2-3 2 1 3 1 4 0 1 6 OAKLEY C 36 5-9 2-2 3 6 9 3 3 1 2 12 STARKS G 21 0-6 0-0 0 3 3 1 2 0 3 0 WARD G 32 7-11 1-2 0 1 1 6 2 1 2 16 MILLS 36 6-8 5-5 1 3 4 0 4 1 3 18 CUMMINGS 19 3-6 0-2 1 5 6 1 1 0 0 6 CHILDS 19 1-4 4-4 1 1 2 1 4 1 2 7 BOWIE DNP - COACH'S DECISION DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION THOMPSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION H WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 34-70 20-24 8 22 30 19 23 5 17 94 (.486) (.833) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 18(23 PTS)

NEW JERSEY REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

GILL F 26 4-7 0-0 0 2 2 1 4 1 1 8 VAN HORN F 38 9-17 7-8 2 4 6 1 2 3 7 25 CAGE C 29 0-0 0-0 1 5 6 0 3 1 0 0 KITTLES G 40 7-16 1-2 0 3 3 1 1 2 0 15 CASSELL G 40 14-20 2-2 1 6 7 7 3 1 3 30 GATLING 21 4-8 5-6 0 6 6 0 1 2 1 13 DOUGLAS 10 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 3 1 0 1 0 VAUGHN 5 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 0 2 EVANS 18 0-1 0-0 1 2 3 4 2 0 0 0 HARRIS 13 2-6 0-0 2 0 2 1 2 2 0 4 SEIKALY DNP - SORE RIGHT FOOT J WILLIAMS DNP - BROKEN RIGHT THUMB

TOTALS 240 41-77 15-18 7 29 36 18 22 12 13 97 (.532) (.833) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 13(17 PTS)

NEW YORK 22 27 24 21 - 94 NEW JERSEY 22 20 24 31 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW YORK - OAKLEY, MILLS. NEW JERSEY - KITTLES 4, EVANS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW YORK 6-14 (.429), HOUSTON 3-3, STARKS 0-4, WARD 1-4, MILLS 1-2, CHILDS 1-1. NEW JERSEY 0-5 (.000), VAN HORN 0-1, KITTLES 0-2, EVANS 0-1, HARRIS 0-1. TECHNICALS: NEW YORK - CHILDS, NEW JERSEY - HEAD COACH CALIPARI, CASSELL. OFFICIALS: STEVE JAVIE, DAVID JONES, SCOTT FOSTER. A - 20,049. T - 2:14.


Agate Box Score

NEW YORK (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Houston 42 10-19 6-6 0-2 6 3 29 Johnson 35 2-7 2-3 2-3 1 4 6 Oakley 36 5-9 2-2 3-9 3 3 12 Starks 21 0-6 0-0 0-3 1 2 0 Ward 32 7-11 1-2 0-1 6 2 16 Mills 36 6-8 5-5 1-4 0 4 18 Cummings 19 3-6 0-2 1-6 1 1 6 Childs 19 1-4 4-4 1-2 1 4 7 Bowie DNP - coach's decision Davis DNP - coach's decision Thompson DNP - coach's decision H Williams DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 34-70 20-24 8-30 19 23 94 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.486, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals: 6-14, .429 (Houston 3-3, Starks 0-4, Ward 1-4, Mills 1-2, Childs 1-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 2 (Oakley, Mills). Turnovers: 18 (Houston 4, Mills 3, Starks 3, Childs 2, Oakley 2, Ward 2, Johnson). Steals: 5 (Childs, Houston, Mills, Oakley, Ward).

NEW JERSEY (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Gill 26 4-7 0-0 0-2 1 4 8 Van Horn 38 9-17 7-8 2-6 1 2 25 Cage 29 0-0 0-0 1-6 0 3 0 Kittles 40 7-16 1-2 0-3 1 1 15 Cassell 40 14-20 2-2 1-7 7 3 30 Gatling 21 4-8 5-6 0-6 0 1 13 Douglas 10 0-1 0-0 0-0 3 1 0 Vaughn 5 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 3 2 Evans 18 0-1 0-0 1-3 4 2 0 Harris 13 2-6 0-0 2-2 1 2 4 Seikaly DNP - sore right foot J Williams DNP - broken right thumb _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-77 15-18 7-36 18 22 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.532, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals: 0-5, .000 (Van Horn 0-1, Kittles 0-2, Evans 0-1, Harris 0-1). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 5 (Kittles 4, Evans). Turnovers: 13 (Van Horn 7, Cassell 3, Douglas, Gatling, Gill). Steals: 12 (Van Horn 3, Gatling 2, Harris 2, Kittles 2, Cage, Cassell, Gill). ____________________________________________ New York 22 27 24 21 - 94 New Jersey 22 20 24 31 - 97 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: New York 1 (Childs, 4:54 4th). New Jersey 2 (Head Coach Calipari, 8:47 2nd; Cassell, 6:39 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 20,049. T: 2:14. Officials: Steve Javie, David Jones, Scott Foster.


Game Recap

Sam Cassell scored 30 points and Kerry Kittles had a key block at the buzzer as the New Jersey Nets took another step toward their first playoff berth in four years by rallying for a 97-94 victory over the New York Knicks.

Keith Van Horn scored 25 points for the Nets, who held their cross-river rivals without a basket for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, then held on down the stretch behind Cassell and Kittles, who finished with 15 points and blocked Charlie Ward's potential game-tying three-pointer as the horn sounded.

"I was by myself with Ward by the three-point line," Kittles said. "All I did was get my hand on the ball and knock it away."

New Jersey (38-36), which has not reached the postseason since 1994, moved one game ahead of Orlando and Washington in the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Nets also moved within 2 1/2 games of seventh-place New York (41-34).

"A good win for the organization and a good win for this team," Nets coach John Calipari said. "They needed it. They were down in this game and they came back to win."

"It's so big, because of the way we lost the other night," Nets forward Kendall Gill said. "We're right back in the thick of things. We can even worry about catching them."

Allan Houston scored 29 points for the Knicks, who nearly erased a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes but were saddled with a split of the four-game season series.

"They played a great fourth quarter," Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "Bad defense for us and good offense by them contributed to our downfall. They shot 60 percent in the second half and beat us on the boards."

A three-pointer by Chris Mills, who scored 18 points, closed the third quarter and gave the Knicks a 73-66 lead. But that was New York's last basket for more than six minutes.

Chris Gatling scored six points and Cassell added four as the Nets scored 17 of the first 21 points of the final period. New Jersey took the lead for good at 79-77 on a corner jumper by Gatling with 7:23 remaining. A jumper by Lucious Harris capped the burst at 83-77 with 6:15 to go.

"We needed Gat to carry us and he did," Calipari said.

Limited to four free throws by Chris Childs, the Knicks finally scored from the field when Houston banked in a jumper with 5:52 left. But a layup by Cassell extended the lead to 92-83 with 3:03 to play before New York made a final charge.

Charles Oakley and Ward made layups 32 seconds apart before a jumper by Kendall Gill gave the Nets a 94-87 edge with 1:25 remaining. Houston made a three-pointer, and after a turnover by the Nets, Larry Johnson had a lay-in to pull New York within two points with 37 seconds left.

Cassell drove and fed a flashing Kittles for a layup with 21 seconds to play, giving New Jersey a 96-92 lead. Ward scored on a drive and Kittles was fouled, but he made just 1-of-2 from the line. With no timeouts, the Knicks moved quickly into the frontcourt and swung the ball to the left wing to Ward, whose three-pointer was deflected by the taller Kittles at the buzzer.

"We ran a play for Allan and he got double-teamed," Ward said. "I wasn't really looking to shoot that shot, but it was the only thing we could get."

Cassell made 14-of-20 shots and added seven rebounds and seven assists. Gatling added 13 points for the Nets, who shot 53 percent (41-of-77) from the field and made 15-of-18 free throws. New Jersey held a 36-30 rebounding edge.

"Sam played very big," Gill said. "You hope for the best, and when he's on a roll he's one of the best point guards in the league."

"We wanted to come in and outmuscle them," Van Horn said. "As a team, it was the biggest win of the year for us. I think this win might propel us into the playoffs."

Ward scored 16 points and Oakley added 12 and nine boards for the Knicks, who shot 49 percent (34-of-70) and made 20-of-24 foul shots.

"I am always surprised when we get outrebounded," Van Gundy said. "Stops, boards and turnovers beat us tonight."

New York starters Larry Johnson and John Starks were shut down. Johnson, averaging 15.8 points, was held to six points on 2-of-7 shooting, while Starks, who averages 13.6, was held scoreless for the second time in his last three games, missing all six of his shots.

Van Horn scored 11 points in the first quarter, but Houston countered with nine as the Knicks erased an early eight-point deficit and pulled into a 22-22 tie.

Mills scored five points in a 12-2 burst that opened the second quarter and gave the Knicks a 34-24 lead with 8:47 left. Mills had 13 in the quarter, which ended with New York holding a 49-42 lead.

"At halftime I told them, `Don't let them muscle you on your own court. Don't let them bully you,'" Calipari said.

Cassell exploded for 14 points in the third quarter, including a fast-break layup that pulled the Nets into a 56-56 tie with 5:43 left. But Houston scored five points as New York quickly rebuilt its lead to eight points before settling for a seven-point bulge entering the final 12 minutes.

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