Steph Spoils Spree’s Garden Return

By Jerald L. Hoover
Updated: January 1, 2005

Latrell Sprewell
Latrell Sprewell

NEW YORK, NY– – Last year around about this time when the Minnesota Timberwolves invaded the Garden, former lovable Knick and current Timberwolf, Latrell Sprewell got what he called, “my revenge” on Mr. James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks and Cablevision. His team won the game in hard fought fashion but Sprewell also won the war of words. Basically what Sprewell did was make a fool of himself by cussing out Dolan who sat next to the Knicks’ bench along with his wife and child. For Spree’s troubles the league fined him $25,000s.

But, this year was altogether different. The Dolan’s were on a family vacation and the Knicks, led by the heroics of Stephon Marbury won the game, 100-87. Marbury who also played against one of his former teams, scored 15 points in the decisive fourth quarter and finished with 32 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds.

This is the third win in a row for the Knicks but this is also the third straight game in which they have played well for most if not all of the game. Their prior win against the Magic in Orlando they led the game wire to wire. Coach Lenny Wilkens assessed, “right now, we’re not hesitating. We’re playing to win. Sometimes we got too cautious and tried to sit on our lead, but we really have to go after people. We’re more comfortable with each other and that makes a big difference.” The Knicks much like a lot of teams in the league would allow big leads to evaporate and thus the opposing teams would creep back into games.

Marbury after getting what he called, “a wake up” call from team president and Hall of Famer, Isiah Thomas regarding his spotty defense played flawless on both ends of the floor and was a true leader. Coach Wilkens said of Marbury, “he’s playing his game. For us to be good, he has to play his game every night. That means he has to be the aggressor. He can’t hesitate. He just has to go for it.” If Marbury heeds those words from his coach, the Knicks will be better than just good, they will be great.

GAME NOTES: The Knicks are now 16-13 overall and 10-4 at home this season. The Knicks finished the season with the T-wolves tied at one. This is the first Knick win verses the T-wolves at the Garden since December 2, 2000. The Knicks are now three games over .500 for the first time since April 18, 2001. The Knicks are now also 5-1 at home verses Western Conference opponents.