Recap | Box Score
New York Knicks 109, Denver Nuggets 107
By Associated Press
November 8, 2006
DENVER (AP) -- Jamal Crawford stole the ball from Eduardo Najera and made a 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left to give the New York Knicks a 109-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.
|Jamal Crawford launches the game-winning three over Eduardo Najera.|
Crawford, subbing for Steve Francis (ankle), scored 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, when the Knicks erased a 12-point deficit.
With the game tied at 106, Nuggets guard J.R. Smith stole the ball from Crawford and passed it to Najera, who tried to throw the ball downcourt. Crawford blocked it, retrieved it and swished a long 3.
The Nuggets have blown fourth-quarter leads against the Clippers, Timberwolves and now the Knicks in starting 0-3.
Stephon Marbury's 3-pointer tied it at 106 with 44 seconds left, erasing what remained of the Nuggets' 12-point lead with eight minutes left.
Earl Boykins was long on a 3-pointer and Smith got the board for Denver but turned it over out of bounds with 28 seconds left, setting up the sequence that ended with Crawford's 3.
While the Knicks were without Francis, the Nuggets played without Kenyon Martin, who learned after being sent for an MRI during the game that he needed arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
"I won't be out the entire season, but I have no idea at this point," a solemn Martin said when asked about a timetable for his return.
At the Nuggets' shootaround, Martin talked about how good his surgically repaired left knee felt and how he was getting back to full strength for the first time since undergoing microfracture surgery more than a year ago. He was taped up and ready to play when a team doctor examined him and sent him for tests.
"Right now I'm at a loss for words, you know what I'm saying? I worked my butt off in training camp. For this to happen now, I'm down in the dumps," Martin said. "But I've dealt with worse, so I've just got to fight through it."
The Nuggets, though, are accustomed to playing without Martin -- he was limited to a career-low 56 games last season and was suspended in the playoffs for insubordination.
Martin, who averaged 9.5 points and 10 rebounds in Denver's first two games, was replaced by Najera, who scored 12 points.
Quentin Richardson scored 18 points for the Knicks before fouling out with 1:40 left when he charged into Najera with the Knicks trailing 104-101.
The Nuggets extended their eight-point halftime lead to 83-73 after three quarters and led 91-79 with eight minutes remaining.
Crawford scored eight straight points, on a free throw, a putback on a subsequent missed free throw, a layup and a 3-pointer, and Nate Robinson's breakaway basket pulled New York to 94-92 with six minutes left.
The Knicks trailed by 14 after seven minutes and pulled to 57-49 at the half.
Knicks coach Isiah Thomas declined to say how long he thought Francis might be out. ...The Nuggets have lost seven straight regular-season games.