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KNICKS RETURN TO CHEERS OF A FEW DIEHARDS

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They would have gotten a ticker-tape parade up Broadway if they'd won. Instead, the New York Knicks were greeted by about 30 die-hard fans when they arrived Thursday at Westchester County Airport.

Their season ended Wednesday night in Houston with a 90-84 loss to the Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.Deborah Jackson of Yonkers, who was among the fans, said she watched all the Knicks' playoff games but "had to turn off the last game because I have high blood pressure."

Gregory Rotundo, 8, of Rye came to the airport to wish the team well, even though, he said, "they played horrible."

A ticker-tape parade had been planned for today in the event the Knicks took the championship.

But Jeff Broadnax of Yonkers thought the parade should go on regardless.

"They are still my team," he said. "They deserve a ticker-tape parade anyway."