Sunday, Jan. 30 12:00pm ET
Knicks victory sees Camby play point
NEW YORK (AP) -- Latrell Sprewell scored 32 points and Allan Houston had 28 Sunday as the New York Knicks had their highest-scoring game of the season, a 120-111 victory over Sacramento that made Jeff Van Gundy the Eastern Conference All-Star coach.
The Knicks gave a rare high-octane performance, leading by as many as 24 while looking perfectly content to play run-and-gun with the Kings, the NBA's highest-scoring team.
The victory gave the Knicks a record of 26-15, moving them into a tie with Miami for the Atlantic Division lead. All-Star coaches are determined based upon records following Sunday's games, and Van Gundy got the call over the Heat's Pat Riley because of a tiebreaking formula that gives the edge to whichever man has not coached an All-Star game most recently.
Indiana's Larry Bird has the conference's best record, but he is ineligible by virtue of having coached at the last All-Star Game in 1998.
"We knew about it beforehand," Sprewell said. "We're all happy for Jeff. He deserves it, so I hope he has fun. My advice to Jeff is to go out there and don't try to make it a Knicks practice. Let guys do what they do. You don't have to do too much coaching, just keep the players happy."
Sprewell, who tied his season high, scored 12 points in a fourth quarter that was marked by the ejection of Sacramento's Jason Williams with 11:15 left.
After being called for a traveling violation, Williams flung the ball 40 feet in the air to get his first technical. As play resumed, Williams continued to shake his head. That was too much for referee Hue Hollins, who tossed him.
"I didn't say anything to him," Williams said. "I deserved the first one without a question, but the second one I really don't know what I did."
Kurt Thomas scored moments later to make it 102-78, and it looked like the Kings had no chance. But Sacramento scored 24 of the next 32 points, cutting the deficit to eight points with two minutes left.
Houston, who did not score in the fourth quarter, shot 12-for-19 from the field. Ewing and Thomas added 13 points each, and Marcus Camby played a few minutes at point guard and hit a 70-footer while also contributing 13 points.
The Knicks started to put some distance between themselves and the Kings after Charlie Ward left the game midway through the second quarter and Camby started bringing the ball upcourt. Camby found himself in that unfamiliar role because backup point guard Chris Childs sat out his second straight game with a sore left Achilles tendon.
"We've been doing it in practice some, this was the first time we did it in a game," Camby said. "It's cool. I'm fine with it. I always think I can handle the rock."
What was a five-point lead when Ward left became a 15-point lead at halftime, with a wild sequence marking the end of the half.
Williams tried to feed Webber with a pass off the backboard for an alley-oop dunk, but Webber missed the slam. The ball bounded out 25 feet from the basket, where Tyrone Corbin turned it into a 3-pointer with one second left. Not to be outdone, Camby took the ensuing inbounds pass and launched a 70-footer that hit nothing but net.
"That was luck," Camby said "That's my first time ever, from grade school on up, hitting a shot like that."
After making the shot, Camby leapt over the scorer's table on his way to the locker room.
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