The New York Knicks used to limp home from the West Coast wondering how everything could have gone so bad so fast.
Not this time.Thanks to a gift from the schedule makers, a few lucky bounces and plenty of perseverance, the Knicks flew back across the country feeling happy today.
An undefeated road trip will do such a thing.
New York finished the first of this season's two Western treks with a 3-0 record after beating the Vancouver Grizzlies 101-82 Sunday night. It came two nights after an overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers and three nights after a hard-fought victory at Golden State.
"That was definitely our goal when we left on this trip, to go 3-0, and we're glad we accomplished that," said Patrick Ewing, who had 21 points and 16 rebounds in his third straight strong game on the trip.
Success in the West is something New York is not used to. The Knicks lost at Vancouver in January and went 0-4 on their final cross-country trip last season. The 1994-95 season included records of 1-2 and 1-3 on Western trips.
Lakers 92, Hawks 85
At Inglewood, Calif., there were more than 1,400 empty seats at the Forum, the second straight non-sellout in the Lakers' three home games.
Eddie Jones scored 13 of his 19 points in the third quarter as the Lakers rallied from a 19-point deficit to snap a two-game losing streak. Over one span of the second half, the Lakers outscored the Hawks 54-23.
"That second half is the kind of emotion and energy we're looking for," coach Del Harris said. "That was the best half we've played, obviously. I'm hoping this is a breakthrough game."
Shaquille O'Neal had 19 points and 18 rebounds and Cedric Ceballos had 11 of his 13 points in the third quarter for Los Angeles.
Mookie Blaylock led the Hawks with 16 points and 12 assists. Christian Laettner had 14 points and nine rebounds and Steve Smith also scored 14 points before spraining his ankle early in the third quarter.
Trail Blazers 94, Spurs 81
At Portland, Ore., the injury-depleted Spurs had Sean Elliott and Dominique Wilkins playing center for much of the game. Predictably, they lost.
Isaiah Rider scored 23 points and Kenny Anderson had 17 points and seven assists for the Blazers, who went ahead after the game's first 80 seconds but couldn't put the Spurs away until the final quarter.
Cavaliers 101, Nuggets 86
At Cleveland, Danny Ferry came off the bench to score 20 points and Cleveland used an 18-0 fourth-quarter run to lock up its fourth victory in five games this season.
Rookie Vitaly Potapenko scored 12 points in a reserve role, and Bobby Sura came off the bench for 14 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
"The things that jump out at you are the contributions from our second unit," Cleveland coach Mike Fratello said.
Clippers 81, Timberwolves 70
At Los Angeles, Rodney Rogers scored 22 points and Stanley Roberts had 19 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.
The Clippers beat the Timberwolves for the fourth straight time despite shooting only 35 percent. The Timberwolves were a woeful 31 percent and tied a franchise record for fewest points in a game.