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Knicks Fading Fast

February 29, 1996

It’s been indignity after indignity for the New York Knicks on their West Coast trip.

The latest one may have topped them all.

New York blew a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter and was outrebounded 64-36 Wednesday night in dropping a 90-85 decision to the Sacramento Kings, who snapped an 11-game losing streak.

It was the fourth straight loss and sixth in the last seven for the Knicks, who sank to a new low on each game of their four-game trip.

Against Phoenix on Sunday, J.R. Reid knocked out two of A.C. Green’s teeth with a vicious elbow to the mouth that was seen on national television. The next night at Los Angeles, CBA call-up Matt Fish was the starting center due to the suspension of Reid and an injury to Patrick Ewing.

Then came Wednesday night’s debacle against a team that hadn’t won since Feb. 3.

Sarunas Marciulionis, activated from the injured list earlier in the day, made two 3-pointers in the final 1:41, including the go-ahead score. After Willie Anderson missed a 3-point try, Billy Owens converted an 8-footer with 23 seconds left to secure the win.

``We’re frustrated, disappointed and mad,″ Ewing said. ``We had this game won, but for whatever reason we just didn’t get it done. This is a game we had won and should have won. We are a better team than this.″

``I’m very frustrated. We are so close to winning, but we’re not winning. It’s a lot of frustration for everyone,″ Derek Harper said.

In other NBA games, Seattle defeated Detroit 94-80, Orlando topped Miami 116-112, Atlanta edged Portland 90-88, Utah beat Washington 115-93, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated Vancouver 99-80, Phoenix trounced Minnesota 117-93 and Boston beat Charlotte 121-116 in overtime.

SuperSonics 94, Pistons 80

At Seattle, the Sonics won their 11th in a row.

Seattle pulled away after Shawn Kemp was ejected with 9:31 left and the Sonics leading 73-68. Led by Gary Payton’s six points and five from Frank Brickowski, the Sonics responded with an 18-6 run for a 91-74 lead.

``I’ve never seen a superstar in this league get thrown out with 10 minutes left in the game when you know people come to see him. It was as if he was a rookie,″ Seattle’s Nate McMillan said.

Kemp still managed to lead the Sonics with 23 points and 14 rebounds.

Detroit scored only 32 points in the second half after leading by 12 at halftime.

Magic 116, Heat 112

At Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal outplayed Alonzo Mourning, getting 31 points and 14 rebounds to Mourning’s 18 points and 10 boards as Orlando improved to 29-0 at home and dealt Miami its first loss since Pat Riley shook up his team with three trades last week.

``To tell you the truth, I don’t think I showed the competitiveness I usually show on a consistent basis. I told some of the guys: `Hey, I didn’t show up tonight,′ ″ Mourning said.

Anfernee Hardaway just missed a triple-double with 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, and Dennis Scott added 25 points.

Orlando led 91-89 going into the fourth quarter and pulled away by making eight of 11 free throws during a crucial two-minute stretch that made it 108-97. The Heat never seriously threatened after that.

Hawks 90, Trail Blazers 88

At Atlanta, Mookie Blaylock made a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left, and Portland’s Clifford Robinson missed a last-second 20-footer.

Blaylock, who finished with 23 points and eight assists, nailed the game-winner after he and Craig Ehlo each missed.

``The fact that we were able to get some offensive rebounds at the end is what helped us win,″ said Christian Laettner, who had 15 points in his first start for the Hawks. ``We kept passing it around. Craig missed a shot. We got the rebound. Mookie missed one, and we got another rebound and then Mookie nailed it.″

The win was the third in a row for Atlanta and left Lenny Wilkens, the NBA’s career winningest coach, one victory shy of 1,000. He’ll go for the milestone on Friday when the Hawks play host to Cleveland.

Jazz 115, Bullets 93

At Salt Lake City, the Jazz scored 20 of the game’s first 22 points, let Washington pull within three in the second quarter and then broke the game open in the third period.

The Bullets trailed by at least 17 points throughout the fourth quarter.

Karl Malone had 26 points and a career-high seven steals, and John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek added 17 points apiece.

Lakers 99, Grizzlies 80

At Vancouver, Magic Johnson (pulled calf muscle) and Nick Van Exel (hip pointer) didn’t make the trip, but Los Angeles still managed another victory. Cedric Ceballos scored 23 points and Eddie Jones 18, while Vlade Divac added 17 rebounds.

The Lakers are 11-2 since Johnson came out of retirement and have won 10 of 11 games and 19 of 24.

Suns 117, Timberwolves 93

At Minneapolis, Charles Barkley had 24 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, rookie Michael Finley added 21 points and Phoenix shot 62 percent to move over .500 (28-27) for just the second time since Nov. 25.

Celtics 121, Hornets 116, OT

At Boston, David Wesley scored 33 points, including the go-ahead basket in overtime, as Boston snapped a five-game losing streak.

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