John Starks blew kisses to the crowd, only to have Latrell Sprewell make him feel like he was anyplace but home.
In his first game at Madison Square Garden since being traded, Starks couldn't stop Sprewell when they were matched head-to-head. Sprewell scored all 21 of his points in the first half last night and the New York Knicks defeated Golden State 89-83, sending the Warriors to their 10th straight loss.
"I wasn't just going at John, I was going at whoever," Sprewell said. "I wanted to have a better game than I had in Golden State."
It was the second meeting of the season between Sprewell and P.J Carlesimo, the coach he once choked, and it was a different atmosphere from the night 2 1/2 weeks ago in Oakland when Sprewell spurned Carlesimo's attempt at a pregame handshake and engaged in a vulgar dialogue with hecklers.
Most of the hype this time surrounded Starks's return to the arena where he played for eight seasons.
"It was nice to just have a basketball game without the buildup," Carlesimo said. "Spree was able to play, and I could just coach."
Starks scored only seven points on 3-for-12 shooting.
Sprewell drove the baseline on Starks for a three-point play that gave him 10 points just 6 1/2 minutes into the game. He finished the first quarter 7 for 8 from the field with 16 points.
Allan Houston and Larry Johnson finished with 15 points apiece. Antawn Jamison led Golden State with 25.
GRIZZLIES 104, MAVERICKS 95: Vancouver snapped a 30-game road losing streak behind Shareef Abdur-Rahim's 26 points and 15 rebounds.
Michael Dickerson added 21 points and Othella Harrington had 16 for Vancouver, which won on the road for the first time since beating the Los Angeles Clippers 93-89 in double overtime on Feb. 16, 1999.
Dallas's Dirk Nowitzki matched his career-high with 31 points, but went scoreless in the fourth quarter.
RAPTORS 101, CAVALIERS 98: After a slow start, Vince Carter took control against visiting Cleveland, scoring 15 of his 32 points in the decisive third quarter.
Carter, coming off a career-high 39 points against San Antonio on Sunday, missed 9 of 14 shots in the first half as the Raptors fell behind by 11 points. But he found the range in the third quarter, making 6 of 8 shots as the Raptors outscored the Cavaliers 31-13.
Toronto's Antonio Davis got a concussion and needed three stitches after he was accidentally hit above the left eye by Lamond Murray midway through the third quarter. Davis will be re-evaluated this morning and is day-to-day.
PACERS 83, SPURS 77: In Indianapolis, Reggie Miller scored 23 points to hand defending NBA champion San Antoino its third straight loss, all on the road. Indiana, which was held without a field goal for eight minutes in the second half, posted its fourth consecutive victory despite shooting only 36 percent.
Tim Duncan had 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs but teammate David Robinson scored just six points on 3-of-12 shooting.
SUNS 110, MAGIC 107: Jason Kidd scored 17 of his season-high 29 points in the final 7:02 in Phoenix. Kidd also had 11 assists, including one to Oliver Miller for a dunk that gave the Suns the lead for good, 103-101, with 1:27 to go.
The Suns' Penny Hardaway did not play against his old team. Hardaway sat out his second consecutive game with a sore right foot.
PISTONS 116, BUCKS 112: In Milwaukee, Grant Hill scored 31 points and Detroit overcame a 16-point halftime deficit with a 70-point second half.
Jerry Stackhouse added 26 points, including four points in the final 37 seconds, as the Pistons snapped the Bucks' two-game streak despite Glenn Robinson's 30 points.
HEAT 86, TRAIL BLAZERS 76: Alonzo Mourning scored 17 points and Jamal Mashburn added 16 for visiting Miami.