Back When Knicks Won One

The last time the Knicks won a playoff game, Iman Shumpert was 10.

Since then, as the Knicks have compiled the longest postseason losing streak in N.B.A. history – 13 games – every team other than the Charlotte Bobcats has won at least one playoff game. But Knicks fans can look back fondly on that 97-89 first-round win over the Toronto Raptors on April 29, 2001.

In that game, Allan Houston led the Knicks with 24 points and Kurt Thomas led them with 9 rebounds. It was not all that long ago: Thomas is still active, even if he is the second-oldest player in the league.

Vince Carter, who is also active, was Toronto’s second-leading scorer, with 20 points. He is now with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 8.3 points in their first three playoff games.

Thomas and Carter are the exceptions. In all, 14 of the 16 players who took part in the game are retired, including Mark Jackson, the current coach of the Golden State Warriors.

To get a better idea of how long ago that was, consider that George W. Bush was in his fourth month as the president. Barack Obama was a state senator in Illinois. Facebook did not exist, and neither did MySpace.

Now that the Knicks trail, three games to none, in their best-of-seven series against a star-studded team like the Miami Heat, their chances of a first-round upset are nearly nonexistent heading into Game 4 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

But with the Nets moving to Brooklyn next season, perhaps some of their playoff success will rub off on the Knicks. Since the Knicks’ last postseason victory, the Nets have won 43 playoff games.

This is a more complete version of the story than the one that appeared in print.

PHOTO: Latrell Sprewell and Vince Carter in the last playoff game the Knicks won, in 2001. (PHOTOGRAPH BY EZRA O. SHAW/ALLSPORT)

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