The Knicks posted a 76-64 victory at Miami on Saturday in winning four in a row for the third time this season. New York has not won five straight since March 11-20, 2001—the last season they qualified for the playoffs.
The Knicks, who have won eight of their last 10 home meetings with the Clippers, boast an impressive 8-3 record under Lenny Wilkens, who took over as coach on Jan. 15.
New York is 10-6 since acquiring star point guard Stephon Marbury from Phoenix on Jan. 5.
Marbury scored all 16 of his points in the first half Saturday, and had eight assists as the Knicks held the Heat to a season-low point total. Second in the NBA in assists per game behind New Jersey’s Jason Kidd, Marbury has led the Knicks in scoring in each of the last four games.
“Stephon is starting to take over and run the show,” said Wilkens, the NBA’s all-time winningest and losingest coach at 1,300-1,117.
Allan Houston, New York’s leading scorer before Marbury arrived, has missed the last four games with sore knees.
“We have a nice balance and chemistry going,” Marbury said. “When Allan comes back, that will be even better for us. So, he can rest and get healthy. When he comes back, we’re going to have much more firepower.”
The Knicks, who were 2-17 in the second half of back-to-back games last season, are 7-6 in that situation this season, including sweeps in five sets.
The Clippers fell to 3-2 on their season-high nine-game road trip with Friday’s 112-100 loss at Washington.
Corey Maggette, who sat out a 95-86 win at Boston on Wednesday due to a sprained ankle, returned to score 22 points for the Clippers. Quentin Richardson led Los Angeles in scoring for the second straight game with 24 points.
Richardson is averaging 30 points on 50 percent (20-for-40) shooting in the last two games.
Los Angeles had its three-game win streak snapped, and missed a chance for its first four-game road winning streak since March 1982.