Friday , Feb , 24 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Francis expected to debut for Knicks against Nets

(Sports Network) – The New York Knicks should have newly acquired guard Steve
Francis in the lineup this evening when they conclude a three-game homestand
against the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden.

The 29-year-old Francis was acquired from the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in
exchange for guard Anfernee Hardaway and second-year forward Trevor Ariza.
Francis was averaging 16.2 points and 5.7 assists for the Magic, but had
feuded with head coach Brian Hill and was suspended earlier in the season for
conduct detrimental to the team.

Francis now joins an abysmal Knicks team where he will team up with Stephon
Marbury in a very crowded backcourt.

New York enters tonight’s tilt on a sour note after falling to the Miami Heat,
103-83, on Wednesday at MSG. Marbury returned to the lineup after an eight-
game absence but finished with just seven points on 2-of-11 shooting for the
Knicks, who have lost 17 of their last 19 games.

Marbury missed those eight games because of a shoulder ailment.

Rookie Channing Frye paced the Knicks with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while
Quentin Richardson had 14 points in defeat.

The Knicks, who will hit the road for three games after tonight’s affair, are
11-16 in their arena this season.

New Jersey, meanwhile, comes into tonight’s affair riding a three-game winning
streak after Jason Kidd had 28 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to lead
the Nets to a 96-93 win over the short- handed Magic on Wednesday at
Continental Airlines Arena.

Richard Jefferson netted 23 and also grabbed eight boards and Vince Carter
scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds for New Jersey, which has won
four of five and seven of nine.

The Nets, who will host the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, are 12-16 away from home
this season.

New Jersey has already beaten the hapless Knicks twice already this season and
has won five straight and six of the last seven meetings. The Nets have also
won five of six and eight of 10 in New York.