The New York Knicks defended their way into the NBA record book Saturday night.
Holding the Charlotte Hornets to 19 points in the third and fourth quarters, the Knicks tied the best defensive effort for a half in league history and defeated the Hornets, 81-67, at New York.
"Sometimes you get in a zone offensively," said Allan Houston, who led the Knicks with 19 points. "We felt like we were in a zone defensively. Everyone was focused, everyone was aware, everybody was doing their job whether it was blocking out or rebounding.
"Sometimes you never know what you're capable of doing."
The Knicks tied the second-half defensive record set by Orlando last season against Miami. They held the Hornets to one-for-16 shooting in the third quarter and won easily despite playing their fourth game in five nights.
They won without Latrell Sprewell and Chris Childs, who did not play because of injuries.
The Knicks blew a 16-point lead in the second quarter but built another one as Houston scored nine of his points in the third quarter.
Philadelphia 85, Boston 83--Eric Snow scored 25 points as the 76ers won at Philadelphia for their seventh consecutive victory.
The 76ers' 7-0 start matched the second-best start in the team's history, tying the 1966-67 NBA championship team.
"We have 75 left, and I keep telling them if we get wins now things won't be so critical later in the season, as it usually is for us," Coach Larry Brown said.
Allen Iverson scored 17 points and Theo Ratliff added 15 points for the 76ers.
Paul Pierce scored 26 points for the Celtics, losers of four consecutive games.
Phoenix 84, Miami 82--Shawn Marion scored the last of his 18 points on a layup with 2.1 seconds left at Phoenix as the Suns won their sixth consecutive game.
Brian Grant, who spent much of the game on the bench in foul trouble, made two free throws to tie the score, 82-82, with 49 seconds left.
But with the shot clock winding down, Marion slipped past the Miami defense along the baseline for a layup to give the Suns the final margin.
"Any one of the five guys on the court can take that shot," said Marion, who was eight for 12 from the floor with a game-high 13 rebounds. "It's just a matter of who's open and who's got the ball in their hands."
Tim Hardaway's 22-footer at the buzzer bounced off the back of the rim to preserve the Suns' 17th consecutive home victory against Eastern Conference teams.
New Jersey 126, Seattle 91--Stephon Marbury scored 41 points in 29 minutes as the Nets capitalized on 31 turnovers by the SuperSonics at East Rutherford, N.J.
Marbury scored 17 points in the first seven minutes of the third quarter and helped the Nets build a 31-point lead.
Patrick Ewing scored 13 points and had five rebounds, five turnovers and three blocked shots in 24 minutes for the SuperSonics. Gary Payton led Seattle with 22 points but committed nine turnovers.
Indiana 94, Detroit 84--Reggie Miller scored 24 points, half during a fourth-quarter run, as the Pacers won at Indianapolis.
Miller, who missed all five of his field-goal attempts in the third quarter, made five consecutive shots in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland 86, Washington 73--Robert Traylor scored six of his 10 points during a 16-0 fourth-quarter run to lift the Cavaliers at Cleveland.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 21 points for the Cavaliers. Richard Hamilton scored 16 points for the Wizards, who lost their third consecutive game.
Minnesota 103, Milwaukee 92--Chauncey Billups scored a season-high 31 points and Kevin Garnett added 22 at Milwaukee as the Timberwolves ended a three-game losing streak.
The Bucks, who lost their third consecutive game, were led by Ray Allen, who scored 40 points.
Toronto 98, Chicago 75--Vince Carter scored 14 of his 26 points in the third quarter, and Antonio Davis finished with 24 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Raptors at Chicago.
Charles Oakley recorded a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists for the Raptors.
Ron Artest led the Bulls with 23 points.
San Antonio 91, Vancouver 78--Tim Duncan scored 20 points and the Spurs used a stifling defense in the second half at San Antonio.
The Grizzlies, who took the lead with a 39-point second quarter, managed only nine points in the third quarter and 23 points in the second half--the lowest second-half total in Vancouver history.
"We did the work in the second half and played the way we needed," Spur Coach Gregg Popovich said. "Everyone performed their job on the court with maximum intensity. The group on the court did the job. It was most pleasing to see them dig down."
Portland 111, Houston 88--Steve Smith scored 25 points and Damon Stoudamire added 23 at Portland as the Trail Blazers won their third game in a row.
Dale Davis added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who started the second half with a 14-2 run.
Hakeem Olajuwon scored 17 points for the Rockets.
Around the League
The Bulls activated guard Corey Benjamin and center Jake Voskuhl and put guard Bryce Drew and center Brad Miller on the injured list. . . . The Celtics activated guard Chris Herren and forward Walter McCarty and replaced guard Randy Brown and forward Jerome Moiso, who were put on the injured list.