NEW YORK — Tyreke Evans led a thrilling fourth-quarter comeback, Kevin Martin scored nine of his 17 points in overtime, and the Sacramento Kings beat the New York Knicks 118-114 on Tuesday night to end a six-game losing streak.
Evans finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, scoring 12 points in the final 7 minutes of regulation after the Knicks had built a 15-point lead. Donte Greene added 24 points and rookie Omri Casspi finished with 18, just two after halftime.
Wilson Chandler scored a career-high 35 points for the Knicks, who have lost three straight and six of seven to bring a 19-32 record into the All-Star break. David Lee finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Though not as impressive as the Kings’ 35-point comeback to beat Chicago earlier this season, this one was also unlikely because they showed no signs of stopping the Knicks until midway through the fourth quarter.
New York opened a 98-83 lead with 7:36 to play.
Then Evans and Greene combined for Sacramento’s next 20 points as the Kings cut it to 105-103 on Evans’ basket with 56 seconds remaining. Evans then grabbed the rebound of a Knicks miss, drove into the lane and fed Jason Thompson for a dunk that tied it at 105 with 25 seconds left.
New York was just 7-of-23 in the fourth quarter against a team that has given up 112 or more points in five straight games.
Martin, coming off the bench as he plays his way back into form after missing 32 games with a broken left wrist, hit a pair of jumpers early in overtime. He then sank two free throws to give the Kings the lead for good with 3:07 remaining and followed that with a 3-pointer for a 114-110 lead with 2:44 left.
New York finally forced him to miss a jumper in the final seconds, but he grabbed his own rebound and Evans made two clinching free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining.
The break comes at a good time for the banged-up Knicks. New York played without guard Larry Hughes (sprained left big toe), and Jared Jeffries left in the first quarter with a lower back contusion but was back in the second.
Guard Nate Robinson has been dealing with hamstring and groin injuries, and forward Danilo Gallinari, New York’s best shooter, injured his right forearm in a third-quarter fall. He threw up an airball on his first free throw afterward, then shot the second left-handed and missed before leaving the game for good.
Robinson is scheduled to defend his title in the All-Star slam dunk contest, while Gallinari is in the rookie challenge and the 3-point contest.
An otherwise forgettable game between non-contenders drew some extra attention in New York, which has a larger Jewish population than Israel, because of Casspi, the first Israeli to play in the NBA. The Knicks called it “Jewish Heritage Night” and Casspi heard loud cheers and chants during the game while keeping Sacramento close in the first half.
It was a two-point game late in the third quarter before the Knicks surged ahead. Chandler made a pair of layups and Al Harrington converted a three-point play during a 9-0 spurt that extended the lead to 83-72 with 1:06 remaining in the period. New York extended the lead to 98-83 in the fourth before Sacramento’s comeback.
Greene botched the final seconds of the first quarter, throwing an inbounds pass that hit the sideline to give the ball back to the Knicks with 3.5 seconds left, then bumping Robinson as he was dribbling nowhere near the basket. Robinson hit two free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining. … Curly Neal and Moo Moo Evans of the Harlem Globetrotters, whose tour is in New York, were at the game.
Powered by WordPress.com VIP