Saturday , Mar , 03 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Knicks down Hawks in OT

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Stephon Marbury scored 38 points and dished
out nine assists to lead the New York Knicks over the Atlanta Hawks, 104-100,
in overtime at Philips Arena.

Steve Francis added a season-high 26 points for New York, which overcame a
double-digit second-half deficit to win consecutive games for the first time
since capturing a pair of games from February 3-6.

Renaldo Balkman tallied 12 points and 13 boards for the Knicks, who have won
three of four overall and moved within one game of the New Jersey Nets for the
final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Joe Johnson had 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Atlanta,
which has dropped five straight games. Josh Smith added 20 points, 11 boards
and three blocks for the Hawks, who had a three-game home win streak halted.

With the game tied at 90-90 early in the overtime session, Marbury gave the
Knicks the lead for good with his three-point play just over a minute into the
stanza. He then extended the lead to six points, 96-90, with a a trey with
just over three minutes to play.

The New York lead later reached 101-93 when Marbury again hit a three-pointer.
Atlanta managed to draw within 103-100 on a Johnson three-pointer with 51
seconds left, but that was as close as the Hawks could get.

Marbury scored 21 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, while Francis had
16 of his points over that same time period.

The Hawks led for most of the contest, holding a 31-15 advantage after one
quarter and a 49-37 cushion at halftime. The third quarter saw Atlanta extend
to a 65-51 lead midway through the stanza, but New York started its comeback
by scoring 11 of the final 17 points to go into the fourth down 71-62.

New York then opened the fourth with a 13-4 run to draw even. Francis scored
the final six points of the surge, capping it with a bucket with 6 1/2 minute
left to tie the contest at 75-75.

Francis later gave the Knicks their first lead since the opening quarter,
hitting a pair of free throws with just over four minutes to play for an 82-81
edge. New York then went ahead 87-83 a minute later on two more free throws by
Francis.

Atlanta, though, tied the game at 87-87 when Smith went coast-to-coast for a
layup with 50 seconds left. The play was set up when Tyronn Lue stole an
inbounds pass by the Knicks.

Johnson’s missed turnaround jumper over Marbury with four seconds left failed
to give Atlanta the lead. Marbury then missed a driving layup at the buzzer,
forcing overtime.

Game Notes

Smith became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 500 career blocks at
21 year and 88 days old…NY’s Nate Robinson missed the game with a stomach
virus…NY’s Quentin Richardson left the game in the first quarter with a back
injury…NY hit 10-of-24 three-pointers, with Marbury going 6-of-14…The
Knicks improved to 11-20 on the road…Atlanta fell to 10-18 at home.

ATL NYK