|Crawford, Randolph help Knicks beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 112-85 in preseason home opener|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 11 October 2007 15:57|
There was little reaction toward Isiah Thomas during introductions in the first game in New York since a jury found that the coach and Madison Square Garden sexually harassed former team executive Anucha Browne Sanders.
Thomas said he expected a warm reception, though a harsh one wouldn't have been surprising, less than 10 days after the verdict. But with the arena still mostly empty minutes before the game, there were only some light boos when his name was announced.
Instead, fans seemed more interested in the Israeli team, which had a large contingent cheering and waving Israel's flag. As the Knicks began to pull away in the third quarter, some of their baskets were met with almost complete silence. The Knicks' Quentin Richardson was loudly mocked when he lost the ball while going for a breakaway dunk late in the period.
David Lee and Fred Jones each had 14 points and Stephon Marbury 13 for the Knicks, who have tried to remain focused on basketball during Thomas' legal woes.
Though the NBA's statement the day of the verdict indicated there would be no punishment from the league because it was a civil case, not a criminal one, commissioner David Stern said action hadn't been ruled out during a press conference Wednesday in London. But Thomas said he isn't concerned.
``I've worked with David Stern and the NBA over 20 years personally and professionally,'' he said before the game. ``He knows the type of person that I am and the type of family that I have. So I'm sure that if anybody in this league understands me, he does.''
The Knicks were without center Eddy Curry, who won't play until at least next week because of a labral tear in his right shoulder. Allan Houston, who signed with the Knicks on Wednesday after a two-year retirement, wasn't at the game and will begin his bid to make the team at age 36 at practice Friday.
New York got off to a slow start and trailed by 10 points in the first quarter. But the Knicks seized control by outscoring Maccabi 33-18 in the second to open a 53-43 halftime lead.
Former Chicago Bulls forward Marcus Fizer had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Maccabi. Vonteego Cummings, who played collegiately at Pittsburgh, scored 21 points.