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Gallinari, Douglas help shorthanded Knicks beat 76ers

Toney Douglas, right, scored 22 points to help

Toney Douglas, right, scored 22 points to help the Knicks beat the 76ers at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. (Mar. 19, 2010) Photo Credit: Jason DeCrow

The calamities have become almost comical.

Wilson Chandler's left groin had garnered most of the pregame attention, but as Friday night dragged on, the Knicks were dealt even more blows.

Just 15 minutes or so before tip-off, David Lee was scratched from the starting lineup because of right knee tendinitis, according to the team. His replacement, 7-foot center Jonathan Bender, awkwardly tried to fill Lee's shoes, hobbling toward the basket in an attempt to resemble a formidable post presence.

But he failed.

With 2:53 left in the second quarter of the Knicks' 92-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, Bender fractured the fourth metacarpal on his left hand and did not return. Though his presence wasn't missed much by the Knicks, being down two players on a 10-man roster didn't help.

Lee and Bender are the latest additions to an ever-growing list of lineup scratches that include Eddy Curry and his sore right calf, Eddie House's sore right Achilles tendon and Chandler's groin muscle.

Though Lee told reporters that he expects to play Sunday against Houston, he and his averages of 20.1 points and 11.7 rebounds could've come in handy Friday night.

But in his absence, Danilo Gallinari scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half and Toney Douglas scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including 13 straight Knicks points during a six-minute span, to key the victory.

"It was just good that we got that win," said Douglas, who also had five rebounds and five steals despite playing with five fouls in the fourth quarter. "I was kind of in and out because of foul trouble early on. I just wanted to be aggressive when I got back in the game in the fourth quarter. I wanted to win so bad. One thing we didn't do was we didn't give up. We played all 48 minutes tonight."

The Knicks may have played all 48 minutes, but they didn't play the first 12 very well. Philadelphia forward Elton Brand scored 12 of his 19 points in the first quarter as the 76ers took a 26-15 lead. But the Knicks kept it close thereafter, tying it at 57 on Gallinari's three-pointer and free throw after a technical foul with 5:13 remaining in the third quarter.

Nevertheless, the Knicks' offense seemed out of sync, and their defense at times was non-existent.

But when it counted, Douglas and Bill Walker (15 points) found their rhythm. And that was enough for the Knicks on this particular night.

"That was a pretty good fourth quarter," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said of Douglas. "I didn't know he could do that. The guy has a big heart and you can see that. The way he practices, the way he plays, the type of person he is. Obviously, he has some ice water in his veins.''

Notes & quotes: Tracy McGrady was scoreless, shooting 0-for-7 in 28:34 . . . Chandler, expected to be out seven to 10 days, said he hopes to play again this season. But with 13 games left, his return is questionable.

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