NEW YORK – The Garden faithful surrendered Jamal Crawford with loud cheers and a standing ovation in his return to New York Saturday night, but the evening’s loudest applause belonged to the hometown Knicks, who powered their way to a 138-125 record-setting win over the Golden State Warriors.

The Knicks, who suspended and fined point guard Stephon Marbury for Saturday’s game and were without the injured Nate Robinson and Jared Jefferies, once again took floor with only seven players available. Undermanned, New York had lost two straight. But the Knicks got all they needed and more from the trio of Chris Duhon, David Lee and Al Harrington, ringing up a franchise record 82 points in the first half, spoiling Crawford’s return to the Knicks one week after being traded to the Warriors for Al Harrington.

“I think Duhon is the story of the night,” said Warriors coach Don Nelson, who completed a winless five-game Eastern trip. “Wow, what a player. I’ve been watching him on film and seen him on videos, but to see him in person is another story. The guy’s got the whole package. He looked like Steve Nash out there. Unbelievable performance.

“Whether we zoned, switched him, it didn’t matter, he still found a way to hurt us. Really an impressive performance.”

Lee finished with a career-high 37 points and 21 rebounds. Duhon, who fed Lee on the pick-and-roll all night long, tallied a franchise record 22 assists. Duhon eclipsed Richie Guerin’s Knick record of 21 assists set on Dec. 12 1958 on a slam dunk by Lee with 3:11 remaining. Lee had the first 30-20 game in regulation since Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing had 36 points and 21 rebounds against Philadelphia on Jan. 23, 1994.

The Knicks raced to an 82-64 halftime lead. Lee, who scored 20 points in the first half, hit a basket with 3.4 seconds left in the period, allowing New York to shatter the record for most first-half points at the present Madison Square Garden, set when Kansas City scored 81 on Dec. 8, 1979.

“He should’ve had 50,” Knicks coach D’Antoni said of Lee. “He should’ve had 50 and 28. The guy plays hard and he’s got some talent. He should get used to scoring a lot of points, (getting) a lot of rebounds, and just believing in himself (with) everybody on the team, the same way. He’s better than that, he is a lot better. He shoots well. At the foul line, he is good. He is one of our best passers. The ball should go through him a lot. He gets a lot of people involved. He is a valuable asset, no doubt.” 

Lee said Duhon did a great job of finding him on the pick-and-roll. “He found me about 18 or 20 times,” he said.

Duhon said getting the team involved is what a point guard is supposed to do. “If I can do that every night I would love it,” he said. “I love sharing the ball, I love getting those guys involved. The most important thing is that we got the win.”

The Knicks reached 100 points with 4:58 still left in the third quarter.

“They had 82 points at half, so that’s a lot,” said Crawford, who finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He received a pregame ovation and another during a first quarter video tribute. “Some teams don’t get that in a game. We had to do a better job defensively and work on our schemes a little bit more.”

The Warriors (5-12) played without leading scorer Stephen Jackson, who aggravated a sprained left wrist in a loss Friday at Cleveland. Corey Maggette led the Warriors with 32 points and 12 boards. C.J. Watson added 23 points.

Harrington, like Crawford, played well against his former club. He finished with a season-high 36 points and 12 rebounds. Wilson Chandler contributed 16 points for the banged-up Knicks, who lost Robinson to a strained groin in Detroit Wednesday and are still waiting to add recently acquired Cuttino Mobley to the fold. Mobley has been on the inactive list since coming in a trade last week from the Los Angeles Clippers along with Tim Thomas while the team conducts tests on his heart.

The Knicks (8-8) ended November at .500 or better for the
first time since they were 7-6 in 2004.

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