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No Kidd-ing: Odd Quad-Double

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AP
Jason Kidd, the master of the triple-double, had a dubious quadruple-double this time - 18 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 14 turnovers.

Kidd's turnover total tied John Drew's 22-year-old NBA record as the New York Knicks turned to their trademark tough defense to beat Phoenix 90-85 and snap the Suns' seven-game winning streak Friday night.

Afterward, Kidd lashed out at the officiating crew of Joe DeRosa, David Jones and Michael Smith, lacing his criticism with profanity.

"They were terrible. I hope I do get fined," Kidd said. "The reputation of the Phoenix Suns in the past has been soft. We're not a soft team. We deserve the same calls that the New York Knicks get and the Miami Heat and all the teams that have this mystique of playing hard.

"I know I'm tired of that. I don't care about the fine, but those three referees were terrible."

Kidd's 14 turnovers tied the NBA record set by Drew of Atlanta on March 1, 1978.

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  • "I didn't take care of the ball the way I should have," Kidd said. "Between the turnovers and the eight players they had out on the court, it's hard to beat anybody."

    The Knicks never trailed as they ended the Suns' string of 17 consecutive homecourt victories against Eastern Conference teams.

    Latrell Sprewell scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, when the Suns cut the lead to four on four occasions in the last 3:37.

    Allan Houston scored 21, ncluding 13 in the first half when New York led by as many as 18. Houston put the game away with four consecutive free throws in the last 30 seconds. Larry Johnson and Charlie Ward scored 12 apiece.

    Marcus Camby had eight points and 14 rebounds before leaving with a twisted left ankle with 6:48 to play and the Knicks leading 72-59.

    Sprewell said his stiff back felt better, and he was glad to get into a brief offensive rhythm early in the fourth quarter when he scored six quick points.

    "I went through a little period where I got warm and got a couple of shots to go down," Sprewell said. "I really feel like I have to play well for us to be successful. Not that the other guys can't carry the team, but a lot of it falls on my shoulders defensively and offensively."

    Shawn Marion had 22 points and 15 rebounds for Phoenix, including four 3-pointers in the final 13 mhinutes. Cliff Robinson scored 22, 11 in the fourth quarter. Rodney Rogers added 14 points.

    The Suns couldn't recover from a miserable first half in which they tied a franchise record for fewest points with 27.

    "Defensively, in the first half, that's what set the tone," Sprewell said. "That pretty much won the game for us, the way we came out and played."

    For the game, Phoenix committed 29 turnovers resulting in 35 New York points.

    "I don't think I've ever seen a team value the ball less than we did tonight," Suns coach Scott Skiles said. "Since I've been in Phoenix, that's been the biggest problem. Nobody values the basketball. We just throw it all over the gym."

    Consecutive 3-pointers by Marion, one at the end of the third quarter and one to start the fourth, cut it to 56-50 with 11:44 to play. But Sprewell scored six in a 9-0 run that boosted the lead to 69-56 with 8:34 to go.

    The Suns went on a 13-4 run after that to cut the lead to 76-72 on Marion's final 3-pointer with 3:37 to play.

    Phoenix was down 80-76 when Robinson scored with a minute to play, but Sprewell sank two free throws with 45.9 seconds to go, Kidd committed another turnover, and the Suns were finished.

    "They kept coming at us but our guys did a good job down the stretch," New York coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "It's very hard to overcome our shooting and our rebounding right now, but if you can defend and force some turnovers, you've got a chance.

    Kidd was livid about a call against Robinson for kicking the ball in a scramble on the Suns' end of the court with Phoenix down by four.

    "The invisible kicked ball was the turning point," Kidd said.

    Phoenix's offensive ineptitude was evident throughout the first half. The Suns shot 34 percent (11-for-32), were 0-for-7 from 3-point range, committed 15 turnovers and were 5-for-10 at the foul line in the first two quarters.

    The Knicks scored 17 in a row, including a 15-0 run to start the second quarter, to take a 30-12 lead on Chris Childs' 15-footer with 7:17 to play in the half. New York led 40-27 at the half.

    Skiles and Robinson both drew technicals in the game, and Kidd went nose-to-nose with DeRosa, shoving the ref's arm away at one point.

    Notes

  • The Suns activated Tom Gugliotta exactly eight months after he underwent major reconstructive knee surgery. He didn't score and had a rebound in three minutes.
  • The Knicks were the last Eastern Conference team to win in Phoenix on March 26, 1999.
  • Corie Blount started at center for Phoenix in place of Chris Dudley, who went on the injured list with a sprained left ankle. Blount was scoreless with three rebounds.

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