New York (10-21) at Cleveland (20-11)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 39° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Tue Jan 10, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Larry Brown has occasionally had some harsh criticism of one of his players. Stephon Marbury has responded to such an outburst in impressive fashion for the New York Knicks.

Marbury looks to continue his recent strong play as the Knicks try to extend their season-best win streak to four games when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers.

New York went 2-12 in December, including a 105-95 loss at Orlando on Dec. 28 in which Marbury was 0-for-7 from the field. Brown had few kind words for his point guard following the loss, but Marbury has since turned things around by averaging 23.5 points and 12.0 assists over the last four games.

He had 23 points and a season-high 15 assists Sunday, the final one setting up rookie David Lee for the tiebreaking basket with 21 seconds left, as New York closed a 3-0 homestand with a 120-116 win over Seattle.

Playing 44 minutes because New York was without injured guard Jamal Crawford, Marbury had only one turnover.

“When Marbury gets 15 assists and one turnover without Jamal in the game, you realize why we won,” Brown said. “He was phenomenal.”

Maurice Taylor also scored 23 points, Eddy Curry added 22 and Nate Robinson finished with 17 for the Knicks, who erased a 12-point first-half deficit for their first three-game win streak since February.

“It is everyone. It is not just myself,” Marbury said. “We are just more comfortable. We have a really nice flow right now.”

Crawford missed his second game in a row because of a sprained left foot, while swingman Quentin Richardson scored five points in his return from a three-game absence due to back spasms.

The Cavs improved to 1-1 on their three-game homestand with a 96-88 win over Milwaukee on Saturday.

LeBron James finished with 35 points after taking a hard spill late in the third quarter, and Drew Gooden had a season-high 17 rebounds to go with 14 points as Cleveland won for the ninth time in 11 games.

“It was my whole left side,” said James, whose tumble momentarily silenced nearly 20,000 fans inside Quicken Loans Arena. “It went kind of numb for a little bit. So I just laid on the floor and got a little rest.”

The Cavs improved to 2-1 since losing Larry Hughes for up to six weeks with a broken finger. Damon Jones started in his place and scored three points on 1-for-6 shooting before being benched for the entire fourth quarter.

After Jones missed two 3s early in the third quarter, some aggravated Cavs fans booed the self-described “best shooter in the world,” who is a combined 5-for-28 on 3-pointers in his last six games.

New York has lost five straight on the road, while Cleveland has won seven of its last eight home games.

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