2006_01_srichardson.jpgThis was a victory to savor. Down eleven points in the third quarter, the Knicks rallied to beat Cleveland 92-88 behind some tenacious defense and timely rebounding. The win puts the Knicks an improbable three games out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Stephon Marbury played another great game, taking good shots and moving the ball when he wasn’t open. Jamal Crawford, who had missed the last few games due to injury, came off the bench and added 26 points; twenty of those coming in the second half. Quentin Richardson played tough defense on LeBron James in the fourth quarter, holding him to four points.

This is a team the Knicks should not have beaten at home and the commitment to defense is very encouraging. It’s too early to tell, but this may be the night the Knicks finally understood what Larry Brown has been telling them.

Photo by AP/Tony Dejak via ESPN