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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- NEW YORK 17 22 8 26 73 ATLANTA 25 16 11 24 76 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: NYK - LATRELL SPREWELL 29, KURT THOMAS 14, MARCUS CAMBY 10 ATL - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 18, STEVE SMITH 17, ALAN HENDERSON 14

HIGH REBOUND: NYK - KURT THOMAS 11, LARRY JOHNSON 7 ATL - DIKEMBE MUTOMBO 18, CHRIS CRAWFORD 5

HIGH ASSISTS: NYK - CHRIS CHILDS 5, CHARLIE WARD 3 ATL - MOOKIE BLAYLOCK 3, ANTHONY JOHNSON 2

ATT: 13,474


Extended Box

NEW YORK (73) AT ATLANTA (76)

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

JOHNSON F 36 2-10 0-0 2 5 7 2 5 2 5 6 THOMAS F 38 5-12 4-5 0 11 11 0 5 0 1 14 DUDLEY C 15 1-2 0-0 0 3 3 0 5 0 0 2 HOUSTON G 36 4-11 0-0 0 1 1 2 5 2 5 8 WARD G 19 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 3 2 1 4 0 CAMBY 31 5-7 0-2 1 5 6 0 1 1 1 10 CHILDS 30 2-8 0-0 0 4 4 5 4 1 0 4 SPREWELL 34 8-12 12-15 0 2 2 1 3 3 4 29 WINGATE 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EWING DNP - SORE LEFT ACHILLES BRUNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 27-62 16-22 3 34 37 13 30 10 20 73 (.435) (.727) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 20(21 PTS)

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

CRAWFORD F 22 1-5 2-2 0 5 5 0 2 0 0 4 LONG F 26 0-4 5-6 1 3 4 0 1 2 1 5 MUTOMBO C 44 6-12 6-7 5 13 18 0 1 1 2 18 BLAYLOCK G 45 4-15 3-4 1 3 4 3 0 4 1 13 SMITH G 34 3-13 10-12 0 3 3 0 4 2 5 17 CORBIN 13 0-1 1-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 GRAY 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 HENDERSON 21 5-8 4-6 2 2 4 0 4 0 0 14 JOHNSON 29 1-5 2-4 1 0 1 2 4 0 4 4 WEST 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 SHEPPARD DNP - BACK SPASMS MCLEOD DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 20-64 33-43 10 30 40 5 18 9 14 76 (.313) (.767) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 16(17 PTS)

NEW YORK 17 22 8 26 - 73 ATLANTA 25 16 11 24 - 76

BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW YORK - CAMBY 5, HOUSTON, THOMAS. ATLANTA - MUTOMBO. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW YORK 3-10 (.300), JOHNSON 2-4, HOUSTON 0-1, CHILDS 0-3, SPREWELL 1-2. ATLANTA 3-12 (.250), BLAYLOCK 2-5, SMITH 1-6, CORBIN 0-1. TECHNICALS: NEW YORK - HOUSTON, CAMBY. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, SCOTT FOSTER, GEORGE TOLIVER. A - 13,474. T - 2:26.


Box Score

NEW YORK (73) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Johnson 36 2-10 0-0 2-7 2 5 6 Thomas 38 5-12 4-5 0-11 0 5 14 Dudley 15 1-2 0-0 0-3 0 5 2 Houston 36 4-11 0-0 0-1 2 5 8 Ward 19 0-0 0-0 0-3 3 2 0 Camby 31 5-7 0-2 1-6 0 1 10 Childs 30 2-8 0-0 0-4 5 4 4 Sprewell 34 8-12 12-15 0-2 1 3 29 Wingate 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Ewing DNP - sore left achilles Brunson DNP - coach's decision Williams DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 27-62 16-22 3-37 13 30 73 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.435, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 3-10, .300 (Johnson 2-4, Houston 0-1, Childs 0-3, Sprewell 1-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 7 (Camby 5, Houston, Thomas). Turnovers: 20 (Houston 5, Johnson 5, Sprewell 4, Ward 4, Camby, Thomas). Steals: 10 (Sprewell 3, Houston 2, Johnson 2, Camby, Childs, Ward).

ATLANTA (76) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Crawford 22 1-5 2-2 0-5 0 2 4 Long 26 0-4 5-6 1-4 0 1 5 Mutombo 44 6-12 6-7 5-18 0 1 18 Blaylock 45 4-15 3-4 1-4 3 0 13 Smith 34 3-13 10-12 0-3 0 4 17 Corbin 13 0-1 1-2 0-1 0 1 1 Gray 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Henderson 21 5-8 4-6 2-4 0 4 14 Johnson 29 1-5 2-4 1-1 2 4 4 West 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Sheppard DNP - back spasms Mcleod DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 20-64 33-43 10-40 5 18 76 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.313, FT-.767. 3-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (Blaylock 2-5, Smith 1-6, Corbin 0-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 1 (Mutombo). Turnovers: 16 (Smith 5, Johnson 4, Mutombo 2, Blaylock, Corbin, Long). Steals: 9 (Blaylock 4, Long 2, Smith 2, Mutombo). ____________________________________________ New York 17 22 8 26 - 73 Atlanta 25 16 11 24 - 76 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: New York 2 (Houston, 1:50 1st; Camby, 4:15 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 13,474. T: 2:26. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Scott Foster, George Toliver.


Game Story

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Steve Smith made seven free throws in the final 9.5 seconds as the Atlanta Hawks held off the New York Knicks, 76-73, for their seventh consecutive victory.

After trailing by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter and by eight with 88 seconds remaining, the Knicks fought within 69-68 on Larry Johnson's 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds to play.

But Allan Houston fouled Smith before the Hawks were able to inbound the ball, sending Atlanta's leading scorer to the foul line. He made the free throw, the Hawks maintained possession and Smith hit six more foul shots in the final 7.8 seconds to seal the victory.

"Whatever it was or wasn't, I've never seen that call in 10 years in a close game," Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "George Toliver is a good guy, but that is not an NBA call."

"They made a call I thought was questionable, but I was playing him tight and he was quick to the whistle," Houston said. "I don't know if (Toliver) realized how close the game was or not. He made a call, and it was costly."

Smith finished with 17 points and Dikembe Mutombo led the way with 18 points and 18 rebounds for Atlanta, which tied idle Indiana for first place in the Central Division. The division winner is assured of at least the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

"It's the Eastern Conference, it's physical," said Smith, who was forced to leave for four minutes in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the face. "You are going to have games like this. It was big game for us. I thought everyone played well. Both teams were playing for a lot."

Latrell Sprewell scored 29 points for New York, which played its third straight game without center Patrick Ewing, who continues to rest his sore right Achilles.

The Knicks lead Charlotte by one-half game for the final playoff spot in the East.

After a third quarter in which the teams combined for an NBA-record low 19 points -- eight by the Knicks -- Atlanta was able to build a 61-52 lead with 7:09 left on Smith's 3-pointer. The lead was still 68-60 after Mutombo made two free throws before the Knicks stormed back.

Chris Childs drove for a layup and Sprewell's steal and dunk sliced the deficit to four points. After a free throw by Atlanta's Tyrone Corbin, Sprewell connected on the second of two free throws and Johnson's 3-pointer from the left wing made it a one-point game.

Two foul shots by Smith with 7.8 seconds on the clock were answered by Sprewell, who converted a quick layup. Smith made two more from the line with 5.5 seconds to play, only to watch as Sprewell drained a 3-pointer to make it a one-point contest with 2.4 seconds left.

But Smith was good on two more free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining and Charlie Ward's inbounds pass failed to find a teammate as the Knicks suffered a tough loss in the wild Eastern Conference.

"Steve is a battler," Hawks coach Lenny Wilkins said. "He came back. He knew the game was important to us and he wanted to win."

Alan Henderson scored 14 points and Mookie Blaylock had 13 for Atlanta, which shot just 31 percent (20-of-64), including 3-of-12 from beyond the arc, and held a 40-37 advantage on the boards.

"When you are playing the Knicks, you have to accept a physical game," Mutombo said. "The refs have allowed them to do it for so many years, so we can't just let this team go by. And we didn't let ourselves get caught up between. They did a lot of cheap stuff out there, but nobody got frustrated."

Kurt Thomas had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who connected on 43.5 percent (27-of-62) of their field goals but committed 20 turnovers leading to 21 points by Atlanta.

"We turned it over," Van Gundy said. "We were terrible efficiency-wise in the game. We were fierce defensively, but the turnovers were a killer."

The Knicks turned 17 Hawks' miscues into 16 points.

"It was a tough loss," added Sprewell. "They are a hard-nosed team that fights well, and that was fun to watch, I'm sure."

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