Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing struggled for form

Credit: Vincent Laforet /Allsport

Ewing still firing blanks
by Andy McKenzie

The New York Knicks overcame a poor shooting performance from centre Patrick Ewing to defeat the Boston Celtics 99-97 at Madison Square Garden on December 12.

  • Ewing, who was 0-for-8 from the field in 30 minutes in his first game back after a career-threatening Achilles tendon injury against Philadelphia on December 10, missed his first six shots at home to the Celtics. The 37-year-old recovered to finish 3-for-11, with seven rebounds and five blocks as the Knicks (13-9) held on for the win.

  • The Celtics (10-9), who were without Paul Pierce due to an ankle sprain that will keep him out for two weeks, came from 16 points behind in the final quarter to within three with two minutes on the clock, before a three-point play by Larry Johnson.

  • Johnson, who has also just returned from the injury list, finished with 23 points - seven of them coming in the final two minutes of the game.

  • The Celtics still had the chance to take the game into overtime in the dying seconds, but Antoine Walker was unable to get a shot off at the buzzer. The loss extended Boston's run of defeats at Madison Square Garden to 14.

  • In Toronto, Karl Malone scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Utah (13-7) beat the emerging Toronto Raptors 103-88, as they began a seven-game East Coast road trip. Malone received support from Byron Russell (17 points) and Jeff Hornacek (16 points), as the Jazz won their fifth straight game.

  • The Raptors (12-8) shot just 35.1% from the field in their fifth home loss of the season and slipped a game behind the Charlotte Hornets and the Indiana Pacers at the top of the Central Division. Kevin Willis and leading-scorer Vince Carter both had 16 points for Toronto, while Doug Christie was forced out of the game after aggravating an ankle injury in the third quarter.

  • The Raptors went in at half-time down by 38-30 and never recovered. They found themselves behind by 27 points in the fourth quarter, before a late run gave the scoreline some respectability.

  • In Los Angeles, Shaquille O'Neal scored 22 points, a season-high 24 rebounds and four blocks as the Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons 101-93 for their ninth win in ten games. Guard Kobe Bryant added 26 points, while Rick Fox came off the bench to score 20 points as the Lakers kept pace with the Portland Trailblazers for the best record in the NBA, at 17-5.

  • The Pistons were led by Grant Hill, who had 25 points and 12 boards. Jerry Stackhouse had 24 points, despite having to leave the court to receive nine stitches above his left eye after connecting with a stray elbow.

  • The Lakers, who were without forward Glen Rice with the flu, received a visit from Michael Jordan prior to the game. Jordan watched the game from a skybox alongside Lakers General Manager Jerry West and received a warm welcome from the Los Angeles fans.
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© 2000 Worldsport Networks Ltd Written by Andy McKenzie

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