NEW YORK — Al Harrington scored 23 points, David Lee added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and the New York Knicks snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the New Orleans Hornets 103-93 on Friday night.
Chris Duhon ended a long slump with 15 points and Wilson Chandler also scored 15 for the Knicks, who are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot but realistically blew their chances for a spot by matching their longest skid of the season.
But they took control in the third quarter, pulled away from the frustrated Hornets in the fourth, and completed their first sweep of the Hornets since the 1991-92 season, when they won all four while Charlotte was still in the Eastern Conference.
David West scored 29 points for New Orleans, which has lost two in a row following a three-game winning streak. Chris Paul finished with 22 points and 10 assists, but the short-handed Hornets had little help for their two All-Stars.
Things got testy with 8:48 remaining, when Paul and Nate Robinson were given technicals after getting tangled following Robinson’s foul while trying to block Paul’s shot. The two little men started jawing and Robinson kept trying to get closer to Paul, even as referee Ken Mauer got between them.
The Hornets then lost James Posey a few minutes later after he was ejected for throwing the ball at referee Gary Zielinski, hitting him in the right foot, after Zielinski called a foul on the Hornets’ swingman.
New Orleans was again without center Tyson Chandler, who has been fitted for a walking boot to immobilize his sore left ankle and is expected to miss another week to two weeks. Peja Stojakovic, the Hornets’ top outside shooter, is still out with back spasms, and they again struggled from the perimeter without him.
They had a scary-looking play in the third quarter, when Paul tumbled over Harrington while trying to block a shot and landed hard. He quickly got up, but seemed to hurt his left elbow.
Lee had four baskets during the Knicks’ 10-2 start to the second half that gave them a 52-51 lead a little more than 3 minutes into the third. Duhon hit two 3-pointers as New York scored eight straight later in the period to make it 67-57, and he made one more and set up Quentin Richardson for another as time expired as the Knicks brought a 77-65 advantage to the fourth.
The Hornets trailed by 10 midway through the final quarter, but Duhon made the free throw following Posey’s technical, Chandler scored and Duhon made another 3 to extend it to 96-80 with 4½ minutes to play.
West scored 11 points in the first quarter, leading New Orleans to a 26-23 lead. The Hornets pushed the lead into double digits midway through the second with a 10-2 spurt that made it 40-30 on Morris Peterson’s 3-pointer, and they settled for a 49-42 halftime advantage.
Notes: The Knicks signed guard Joe Crawford to a 10-day contract
Friday. Crawford was averaging 20.8 points for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League.