The Knicks had a new coach, a few different looks on the court and the same old result in the end.
Desmond Mason scored 22 points to lead six Milwaukee players in double figures, and the Bucks held off the free-falling Knicks, 101-96, yesterday in New York, spoiling the debut of coach Herb Williams.
"We were definitely prepared for their energy," Mason said. "Once we jumped on top of them pretty quick, we kind of knocked their spirits down."
The Knicks haven't had much to get excited about lately, losing 10 of their last 11. This one came a day after Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens stepped down and Williams assumed the head job for the rest of the season.
With Knicks president Isiah Thomas looking on from his usual vantage point in the tunnel behind the bench, Williams immediately set to work putting his imprint on the team.
He gave rookie Trevor Ariza the first start of his career, used several different lineup combinations and played some zone defense in an effort to find a way to get the Knicks back on the winning track.
"I'm going to keep things a little more toward defense," Williams said. "Lenny was really good at running the offense, but I think you have to shut teams down in this league."
Stephon Marbury had 33 points to lead New York, and Jamal Crawford added 20. But it wasn't enough to stop Milwaukee from picking up its fifth road win of the season.
Spurs 103, Kings 73 -- Tim Duncan had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and San Antonio snapped Sacramento's six-game winning streak, the Kings' worst home loss in more than nine years. Tony Massenburg had a season-high 16 points against his former teammates, and Tony Parker added 13 points and eight assists to help the Spurs avenge an 86-81 loss in Sacramento three weeks ago. Sacramento finished with season lows in points, 3-pointers, and assists in its worst defeat at home since a 40-point loss to Houston on Dec. 12, 1995. The Spurs took a 16-point lead in the first quarter and made it 28 in the third. The Kings lead the NBA in assists, but they had just three in the first three quarters, finishing with eight -- the lowest total since the franchise moved to Sacramento 20 years ago. Chris Webber played just 13 minutes because of an ankle injury, and coach Rick Adelman benched the rest of his starters for the fourth quarter.
Heat 97, Hornets 68 -- Dwyane Wade had 18 points and seven assists, and Miami built a 25-point first-quarter lead on the way to an easy victory over visiting New Orleans. Damon Jones had 13 points and five assists, and Shaquille O'Neal added 12 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes for the Heat. Miami's 56-25 halftime lead matched the franchise's largest after two quarters -- plus marked the lowest scoring first-half in Hornets' franchise history; Charlotte had 27 at halftime in Minnesota on Nov. 9, 1990.
Mavericks 95, Nuggets 93 -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 9 of his 35 points in the final five minutes -- including a 3-point play with 17.9 seconds left -- to lift host Dallas over Denver, the Mavericks' fifth straight win. The start of Nowitzki's late rally gave the Mavericks a 5-point lead, but the Nuggets tied it, 91-91, on a 3-pointer by Earl Boykins with 1:03 left. A dunk by Kenyon Martin gave the Nuggets the lead with 27.5 seconds left. Nowitzki then hit the tying layup and got the foul call.
Suns 113, Nets 105 -- Amare Stoudemire scored 33 points on 13-for-16 shooting, and Steve Nash had a season-high 30 points to lead Phoenix over New Jersey, snapping the host Suns' six-game losing streak. Nash, playing his second game after missing three with thigh and back injuries, was 5 of 6 from 3-point range and had nine assists.
Vince Carter scored 32 points, and Jason Kidd had 23 for the Nets, who had their season-best three-game winning streak snapped.
SuperSonics 122, Jazz 105 -- Rashard Lewis scored 36 points, barely missing a season high, and Antonio Daniels added 24 points and eight assists, leading Seattle past visiting Utah. Ray Allen added 20 points, and Vladimir Radmanovic had 12 for Seattle, which shot 59 percent from the floor.
Raptors 103, Bobcats 92 -- Jalen Rose scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as Toronto beat visiting Charlotte, which lost its eighth in a row. Rose had 12 points during a pivotal 19-4 run in the final period. The Raptors outscored the Bobcats, 26-12, in the quarter.