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Knicks rally past Spurs, remain undefeated

The SportsXchange

SAN ANTONIO -- Off to their best start since the 1993-94 season, the New York Knicks are erasing skeletons of the past, game by game.

They got rid of another one Thursday in San Antonio.

Raymond Felton had 25 points and seven assists to lead the undefeated Knicks to a 104-100 win over the Spurs at the AT&T Center.

The Knicks improved to 6-0, remaining the only unbeaten team in the NBA.

"It shows me that this team is for real," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We beat a great team tonight, a well-coached team. It's the first time I've ever won in San Antonio, so I feel pretty good about that. It's tough to win here."

The victory seemed unlikely early in the fourth quarter, as the Knicks faltered offensively to that point.

Down by 12 with seven minutes left, New York made a furious comeback and took the lead on a J.R. Smith 3-pointer with 1:22 remaining.

"It was a transition basket," Smith said of his game-changing shot. "Luckily I yelled loud enough for Ray (Felton) to hear me. Shot it with confidence. It went through and really got us really going."

Smith clinched the win when he hit two free throws with 10 seconds left.

New York closed the game on a 27-11 run.

The Knicks earned their first victory in San Antonio since March 18, 2003, snapping a nine-game losing streak in the Alamo city.

The Knicks shot 6-for-23 in the third quarter, hitting no 3-pointers, before Jason Kidd led the fourth-quarter rally. Kidd hit three 3-pointers in the final period.

New York shot 4-for8 from the 3-point arc in the fourth quarter.

Smith finished with 17 points, Kidd scored 14, Tyson Chandler had 13, and Rasheed Wallace added 10 for the Knicks.

New York forward Carmelo Anthony, who was double- and tripled-team all night, scored nine points but grabbed 12 rebounds.

San Antonio (7-2) suffered its first home loss.

Six Spurs scored in double figures, led by Tony Parker, who had 19 points, 12 assists and no turnovers. Kawhi Leonard scored 16, Tiago Splitter 13, and Manu Ginobili 12 for San Antonio. Tim Duncan added 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Stephen Jackson contributed 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Despite the balanced attack, the Spurs went scoreless on 12 of their last 16 possessions.

"It's disappointing," Duncan said of losing the lead. "You have to give them credit. They made the stops they needed. Obviously, we didn't (make the stops) down the stretch."

Danny Green hit a 3-pointer with one second left in the second quarter to give the Spurs a 57-55 halftime lead.

Green was the hero Tuesday night, hitting the game winning 3-pointer in San Antonio's 84-82 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Parker, Leonard and Duncan each scored 10 in the first half for the Spurs, while Green added nine.

Felton led the Knicks with 11 first-half points, hitting both of his 3-point attempts.

In a tight first half, there were 10 lead changes and six ties. The Knicks were hot from the field, shooting 50 percent, and even hotter from the 3-point arc, making 53 percent (seven of 13).

"It's a hell of a team," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They won the game. They played well enough to win. I think we ran out of gas."

Smith's 17-foot, turnaround jumper over Ginobili at the end of the first quarter gave the Knicks a 33-31 lead.

NOTES: Spurs guard Gary Neal did not play due to a cut on the index finger of his right (shooting) hand. He is day-to-day. ... San Antonio faced New York in its first NBA championship series in 1999. The Spurs defeated the Knicks four games to one. ... The Knicks won each of their first five games by double digits, only the third team in NBA history to accomplish the feat.
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