Thursday , Dec , 21 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Another miracle at MSG: Lee’s tip-in topples Bobcats

New York, NY (Sports Network) – David Lee’s dramatic tip-in at the end of the
second overtime carried the New York Knicks to their second straight buzzer-
beater victory, a 111-109 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Since Saturday’s 123-100 ugly loss at home against Denver, which resulted
in seven player suspensions, Knicks coach Isiah Thomas has watched his team
squeak out two wins in incredible fashion at Madison Square Garden.

On Monday, Stephon Marbury hit the game-winning layup as the clock expired in
overtime, lifting the undermanned Knicks over the Utah Jazz, 97-96.

Two nights later it was Lee’s turn, on a night the Knicks overcame a 19-point
deficit.

The Bobcats had a chance to win at the end of the second overtime, but Matt
Carroll was stripped by Marbury, and the Knicks called timeout with 1/10th
of a second left.

By NBA rules, 3/10ths of a second is required for a catch and shoot, so that
was out of the question for the Knicks. Jamal Crawford inbounded the ball
toward the basket, and Lee, twisting away from the glass, used his right hand
to tip the ball over Charlotte’s Gerald Wallace and into the basket

“I didn’t know if we’d have enough time,” Lee said. “I knew I couldn’t come
down with it so the best thing I could do is get a stab at the ball with one
or two fingers, and hope, put it toward the basket and hope to get a roll. I
was able to do that.”

At first, Lee was tempered in his celebration while officials looked at replay
to confirm the tip came before the final buzzer.

“I don’t want to be one of those guys that just celebrates and jumps all over
the place, and then they say the basket doesn’t count,” Lee said. “I waited to
make sure it counted and was just excited we won the game. Our team deserved
it tonight. “We’ve been putting in a lot of hard work. We had a tough last
week here. We’re shorthanded and just happy to get another victory to move
forward.”

Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff walked off the court in disbelief, signifying
another tough defeat for a team stuck on six victories this season.

“I saw David jump and he hit it, I was just like ‘What!?,” Charlotte’s Emeka
Okafor said. “I’d rather lose by 10 or something. That stunk.”

The Knicks, who played without injured starting guards Steve Francis and
Quentin Richardson, were led by 30 points from Channing Frye. Eddy Curry added
29 points and nine rebounds, while Lee totaled 10 points and 19 boards.
Crawford had 25 points and nine assists, as the Knicks won back-to-back games
for just the second time all season.

Wallace had 28 points to lead Charlotte, which lost for the sixth time in
seven games.

“It’s just the way we fought,” Wallace said. “It seems like every time at the
end when there’s that last-second play we need that luck, that big play. The
ball seems to bounce the other way.”

The Knicks were behind by as many as five points in the second OT, but scored
the final seven points. Carroll’s bucket extended Charlotte to a 109-104 lead
with 2:10 left, but Marbury hit a pair from the foul line and Curry completed
a three-point play to tie the game with 1:30 remaining.

Both teams missed opportunities to go in front, setting up Carroll’s play in
the lane and Lee’s heroics.

Primoz Brezec had 21 points for Charlotte, which also got 13 points and 16
assists from Raymond Felton. Okafor had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

The Bobcats led 35-28 after the opening quarter and widened that margin to
63-52 at the half. Their largest lead was 19 points earlier in the second
quarter at 62-43.

Frye’s jumper closed New York’s deficit to 65-63, and later in the period a
16-2 Knicks run gave them an 86-79 advantage going into the fourth.
Crawford hit a dramatic three-pointer at the end of the period.

It was tight throughout the entire fourth quarter. Crawford could have won the
game at the end of regulation, but he missed a jumper, leaving the score tied
at 95. Crawford missed a desperation three-pointer at the end of the first
overtime, putting the game into a second OT even at 102.

Game Notes

Frye’s 30 points equals a career-best…Marbury surpassed the 15,000-point
barrier. He finished with 10 points and nine assists…Carroll scored 15 and
Adam Morrison 14 for the Bobcats.

NYK CHL