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Late 3-pointers help Knicks stop Bobcats' three-game win streak

NEW YORK -- Everyone loves 3-pointers -- when they're going in.

"In practice, I have no limits," Danilo Gallinari joked after hitting a couple of long ones.

The Charlotte Bobcats didn't like them nearly as much.

Chris Duhon made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:03 left, Gallinari followed with two more, and the New York Knicks pulled out a 97-93 victory over the Bobcats on Thursday night.

Wilson Chandler scored a season-high 27 points to lead the Knicks, who hit six 3-pointers in the final quarter and 12 overall. They also got a huge break when video review of Stephen Jackson's long jumper agreed with the officials' ruling of a 2-pointer, instead of a 3 that would have tied it with 1:43 to go.

David Lee had 22 points, and Gallinari finished with 17 for the Knicks, who have won three straight and 11 of 16. They held their opponent below 100 points for the 13th time in 15 games.

"Our defense, I think, is good enough now to keep us in the game," Lee said. "We're not going to dominate too many people, but we scramble enough to hold teams to a low enough shooting percentage, and we're taking away easy buckets. So it gives us a chance to win."

Jackson scored 26 points, and reserve Flip Murray 20 for the Bobcats, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. They launched 11 3-pointers in the fourth quarter but made only four of them, while the Knicks were 6 of 8.

"I don't like us shooting 3s to be honest," Bobcats coach Larry Brown said.

"You just can't just come down and not move the defense and move yourself and shoot it. Last I looked teams were shooting almost 48 percent against them. We just took too many outside shots. But give them credit. That was their game plan I'm sure and they carried it out extremely well."

New York couldn't get its offense going against the team that allows the fewest points in the league the way it did Sunday against Indiana, when it rang up the biggest rout in the NBA this season with a 132-89 victory.

But the Knicks shot 53 percent from the field and rebounded from an awful start to the second half to split the four-game season series with the Bobcats, potentially an important tiebreaker if the teams finish with the same record.

"It's a game we should have won," Jackson said. "They just made some better plays down the stretch but it's just one game. It doesn't determine (whether) we make the playoffs or not. It's one game."

Neither team scored for nearly 4 1/2 minutes until Lee's basket extended New York's lead to 84-78 with 3:32 remaining. The Bobcats tied it up on 3-pointers by Jackson and Raymond Felton, but Duhon snapped it with a 3 from straightaway with 2:03 left.

Jackson's jumper cut it to one, then Gallinari -- the NBA leader in 3-pointers made -- hit back-to-back, the second from 28 feet, for a 93-86 lead with 44 seconds to play.

Five straight points by Murray trimmed it to two with 13 seconds to play, but Chandler sank a pair of free throws and Charlotte couldn't score again.

Both teams have been playing well after poor starts. Charlotte is tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference, while New York is just a half-game back in a tie for ninth.

Charlotte trailed by five at halftime but scored the first seven points of the third quarter, helped by a pair of Knicks turnovers, to go ahead 51-49 on Boris Diaw's jumper. Diaw and Jackson opened and closed a 12-4 spurt later in the period that gave the Bobcats a 10-point lead with 2:23 remaining.

Nate Robinson made a 3-pointer that cut it to 71-68 after three, then began the fourth with a dunk, followed by another 3 that put the Knicks back into the lead in the opening minute. New York held Charlotte to just three field goals in the first 8 1/2 minutes of the period.

"Our defense was really solid in the fourth quarter. I think there was a stretch where it was like 82-78 for about four or five minutes," Duhon said. "Our defense has been really solid for the last month and a half, and that's how we've been winning games."

Chandler scored 10 points in the first quarter, and the Knicks shot 59 percent in taking a 28-22 lead. The Bobcats led for much of the second before New York scored the final six points, capped by Lee's dunk, to grab a 49-44 halftime advantage.

Game notes
The Knicks played without Al Harrington, their second-leading scorer, who had a strained left calf. ... The Bobcats fell to 7-7 against teams previously coached by Brown, who was fired after a miserable 23-59 season in 2005-06 in New York. They have 10 more games against his former teams this season. ... Charlotte opens a six-game homestand Saturday against Memphis. ... New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya was at the game.