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Camby Leads Knicks By Wizards


The Knicks showed Marcus Camby the money, and in return he displayed his finest game since arriving in New York.

After signing a $39 million, six-year contract extension earlier in the day, Camby had his most productive game as Knick with 19 points and 12 rebounds as New York defeated Washington 98-86 Thursday night.

"I wasn't out there playing for a contract before, I was playing for the love of the game," Camby said. "It's just a coincidence that I had a great game on the day I signed my contract."

And on a day when the Knicks failed in their attempt to acquire Stephon Marbury and had to play without Patrick Ewing. But they had little trouble with a Wizards team that won three of its previous four games, but was without Rod Strickland.

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  • Allan Houston also scored 19, and Larry Johnson and Kurt Thomas scored 17 points apiece.

    The Knicks, one of the league's worst rebounding teams, beat the Wizards on the boards 44-34 despite being without Ewing, who is out indefinitely with Achilles' tendinitis.

    Camby shot 8-for-12 from the field and grabbed six of his rebounds on the offensive end.

    "He kept the ball alive on the offensive board, he defensive rebounded better, he guarded Juwan Howard well," Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy sid. "And we need all the scoring we can get, so his 19 was great."

    Mitch Richmond had 26 points to lead Washington.

    The Knicks broke away early in the second quarter, with Camby looking like an offensive force as he repeatedly scored down low.

    Camby had three baskets in an 11-0 run that gave New York a 42-30 lead, and the Knicks opened the second half with a 9-0 run for a 57-40 lead. Washington struggled the rest of the way just to get it down to single digits.

    Camby said he won't let up now that he has financial security for the rest of his life.

    "I'm not going to go out there and be lazy. You can't be lazy in this market. I just want to keep working hard and make the most of my minutes when I'm out there," Camby said. "We have to come together and hold down the fort until Patrick gets back."

    It was 84-74 midway through the fourth quarter when Charlie Ward scored on a fast-break layup and then fed Latrell Sprewell with a 60-foot pass for a dunk that made it 88-74. Camby added a three-point play with 3:18 left, making it 93-79 and ending all doubt.

    Notes

    • Chris Dudley started in place of Ewing and had four points and three rebounds in 16 minutes.
    • Childs bruised his sternum in a second-quarter collision, but returned in the second half.
    • Calbert Cheaney of the Wizards, the subject of trade speculation prior to the 6 p.m. league deadline, played 19 minutes and scored two points.
    • Terry Davis of Washington was shaken up in a collision with Larry Johnson of the Knicks.
    • Strickland is expected to miss at least one more game with a strained groin.

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