Sprewell has 'incomplete' foot fracture
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- More bad news arrived Sunday for the New York Knicks: Latrell Sprewell suffered a foot injury, but it didn't keep him out of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"It's pretty stiff. It hurts," Sprewell said Sunday as his name was added to the Knicks' rapidly growing list of injured players. Sprewell has a fractured fifth metatarsal, the bone behind the little toe on his left foot.

Latrell Sprewell, Jalen Rose
Latrell Sprewell was injured on this play late in Saturday's game. Jalen Rose, top, tumbled over him in a scramble for the ball.

Patrick Ewing missed New York's 98-95 victory Saturday night with acute tendinitis in his foot, and Marcus Camby went down with a knee sprain.

The Knicks listed Ewing, Camby and Sprewell as day-to-day. Camby, who said his knee was feeling better and his availability Monday would be a game-time decision, played and had eight rebounds, five points and three blocks.

Sprewell played a 44 minutes in Game 4 and scored 12 points.

The Knicks were calling the injury to Sprewell, who scored 32 points in Game 3 as New York cut Indiana's lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, a bruise until an MRI after practice revealed what the team called "an incomplete fracture."

Sprewell was injured diving for a loose ball with 30 seconds left. He was held out of practice Sunday along with Ewing and Camby, and Larry Johnson missed half of practice with a stiff back.

It all added up to a long list of question marks for the Knicks, whose offensive versatility would have been severely tested if Ewing, Camby and Sprewell are all sidelined.

The Pacers said they would continue to use single coverage against Sprewell and Allan Houston, but that was before they knew about Sprewell's injury. The double-teaming strategy would likely change if Sprewell can't play.

One thing the Pacers didn't expect is any reduction in the Knicks' resiliency.

New York is now 5-1 against the Pacers in the playoffs over the past two years when Ewing has been sidelined, and the belief among Indiana's players and coaching staff is that the Knicks are a more dangerous team when Ewing isn't around to slow down the offense and clog up the lane.

"Time and time again, they've shown when somebody goes down that someone else will step up," Indiana's Reggie Miller said.

Coach Larry Bird benched Miller for the final 1:49 of the fourth quarter, angry that Miller was arguing with the referees. If Miller's pride was wounded, he wasn't showing it publicly Sunday after the Pacers watched film of the Game 3 loss.

Miller and Bird spoke privately after the film session, but neither revealed details of what was discussed.

"We were down by 10 when I came out, so what's the big deal?" Miller said. "Was there a guarantee we were going to win the ballgame if I was in there?

"Why would I be upset? I think you guys are making a big deal out of nothing."

The Pacers pulled within three points with Miller on the bench, but got no closer as they failed to commit a foul in the final four seconds to stop the clock.

"If we could have gotten a foul with four seconds to go, he (Miller) would have been in there. We would have had Chris Mullin in there and all the shooters," Bird said.

Another questionable decision by Bird was leaving Dale Davis on the bench for the final eight minutes.

Davis has grabbed 16 rebounds in each of the first three games, and the Pacers might have used him to create some second shots during their late rally.

"I'm a competitor, and I want to play as much as possible," Davis said. "He didn't say why. It's not a big deal. I would have liked to be in there, but I wasn't. I don't question coaches' decisions, even if I don't agree with them."

Saying he didn't regret any of his moves, Bird questioned why his players settled for jump shots in the second half instead of continuing to get the ball inside to Rik Smits. He also chided Austin Croshere for losing his confidence and took his team to task for lacking a killer instinct -- a character trait that has beguiled Bird throughout his three seasons coaching the Pacers.

"They've been in this situation so many times and have never been able to put teams away and move on. Can they do it? I don't know. They never have," Bird said.

"If we could have got that game, we'd have them in a world of hurt. I've never been in New York at Madison Square Garden and heard a crowd as soft as this crowd was. I've never seen that, and I'll never see it again. I guarantee that."
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What injuries? Knicks roll over Indy and tie series

Camby injures knee, misses rest of Game 3

Hobbled Ewing misses Game 3, is day-to-day

Houston, scoring Spree keep Knicks in Eastern final

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