76ers start fast, spoil Knicks' home opener in OT

NEW YORK (AP) - October 31, 2009

Lou Williams added 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the 76ers, who seemed headed for a quick knockout in the undercard bout on the Philadelphia-New York weekend card. Instead, they barely held on at the end after a furious Knicks rally ended with an overtime loss for the second time in two nights.

Al Harrington responded to a demotion with a career-high 42 points, but fouled out with the Knicks leading by three in overtime. Danilo Gallinari, who replaced him in the lineup, finished with a career-best 30.

Thaddeus Young scored 25 for the Sixers, who made 16 of 22 shots in the first quarter, rang up 70 points in the first half, and shot 61 percent in their second victory in two nights.

Somehow it ended up being a difficult one. New York scored 41 points in the fourth and 71 in the second half but dropped to 0-3, its worst start since losing its first five under Larry Brown in 2005-06.

Marreese Speights, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds, made two free throws on the play that fouled out Harrington with 3½ minutes remaining in overtime. Iguodala followed with his three-point play that gave Philadelphia a 129-127, and the deflated Knicks were soon down double digits again.

The Knicks' home opener - which briefly included ex-Knick Stephon Marbury in a courtside seat - was clearly the JV game on the weekend of matchups between Philadelphia and New York teams. The Phillies hosted the Yankees in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night, and the Giants visit the Eagles in an NFC East contest on Sunday.

It ended up as a Halloween thriller with the 76ers beating the Knicks for the sixth straight time, their longest winning streak in the series since taking eight in a row in the mid-1980s.

The Knicks changed their lineup, giving Gallinari his first start of the season after falling behind 32-13 after one quarter of their double-overtime loss Friday at Charlotte. Gallinari made a 3-pointer the first time he touched the ball, but nothing could solve New York's defensive woes.

Philadelphia was up double digits a little more than halfway though the first quarter, shot 73 percent and led by as much as 16 while building a 40-25 advantage.

New York, which has trailed by at least 21 points in all three games, started to hear some loud boos while falling behind 70-51 at halftime. The lead grew to 23 in the third quarter, but the Knicks cut it to 96-81 after three and kept charging in the fourth.

A three-point play by Harrington and a 3-pointer by Gallinari cut it to 121-120 with 11 seconds to go. Jason Kapono, one of the NBA's best shooters, made only one of two free throws, and Chris Duhon drove for a tying layup with 5.9 seconds remaining. Iguodala missed a jumper as regulation ended.

NOTES: Marbury, who had a bitter departure from the team last season after clashing with Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, briefly sat courtside near John McEnroe, who was dressed as Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page for Halloween. Marbury was forced to leave that spot across from the New York bench because he was in the wrong seat. ... D'Antoni on Duhon's postgame criticisms Friday that the Knicks weren't serious enough before their loss in Charlotte: "Probably could have done it just with the guys, obviously that would have been better, but we're trying to get guys to get on the right side of professionalism and we need to do that. I don't think it's a big problem, maybe it reared its head yesterday, I don't know that. But obviously Chris felt it." ... Knicks guard Nate Robinson left with a sprained right ankle in the fourth quarter.

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