A three-minute standing ovation was followed by three minutes of vintage Patrick Ewing. There were no tears, no boos, plenty of hugs, a couple of chants -- along with several reminders of how Ewing's best days are behind him.
On an emotional night at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks spoiled Ewing's homecoming Tuesday with a 101-92 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics.
"I thought I played pretty well," Ewing said. "It didn't go as well as I would have liked. I wanted to win."
Chants of "Pat-rick Ew-ing" accompanied a loud and long ovation during pregame introductions as the player who was the face of the franchise for 15 years stood with a smile on his face.
"Why no tears? I don't know. I thought it was great what the fans did," Ewing said. "We've had a love-hate relationship throughout the years, but I think they were appreciative of what I brought to the table every night. I thought they did a great job of showing their appreciation."
Ewing made his first three shots and grabbed four early rebounds but didn't play well the rest of the way, exhibiting many of the traits -- bad hands, an increasingly inconsistent jump shot, a couple of dribbles off his feet -- that frustrated Knicks fans over the years.
Latrell Sprewell and Marcus Camby scored consecutive baskets against Ewing late in the third quarter to start a 12-0 run that put New York ahead by 15.
Ewing returned with 7:15 left and the Sonics trailing by 13, and they cut their deficit to 90-88. Sprewell then scored over Ewing and Camby beat Ewing on a backdoor play for a dunk that gave New York a six-point lead.
Allan Houston led New York with 24 points, Camby had 21 points and 17 rebounds, and Sprewell added 21 points. Mark Jackson had nine points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, while Glen Rice scored 20.
"We clap for drug addicts and criminals, but here's a guy who really deserves it," Jackson said. "New York fans have got to be proud of what they did tonight."
Ewing finished with 12 points and five rebounds in 32 minutes for Seattle, which lost its third straight. Rashard Lewis led Seattle with 20 points.
Blazers rally past Spurs
SAN ANTONIO -- More than 1,500 miles from Patrick Ewing's return to New York, Portland and San Antonio squared off in the close race for supremacy in the West.
In the first of four games between the teams the rest of the way, Rasheed Wallace scored 22 points as the Trail Blazers overcame a 15-point deficit to beat the Spurs, 95-87.
Scottie Pippen, in his fourth game back after elbow surgery, had 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the Blazers won for the second straight night and opened a 1 1/2 -game lead in the Pacific Division. San Antonio fell 1 1/2 games behind Utah in the Midwest Division.
Wallace held Spurs leading scorer Tim Duncan to 5-of-18 shooting.
"I just couldn't knock anything down," said Duncan, who finished below his 21.3-point average with 16. "Rasheed played some good defense, though. That's when it's up to me to make a good pass."
Wallace was held to seven points in the first half by the 7-foot Duncan, who scored six.
But with Portland trailing by 11 to start the third, Wallace sank two free throws and hit two turnaround jumpers in the first three minutes to whittle the lead to 49-47.
He went on to nail a three-pointer and another jumper as Portland outscored the Spurs, 33-16, in the third.
After the Blazers widened the margin to 81-73 on Steve Smith's three-pointer with nine minutes to play, the Spurs scored eight in a row to tie it. But Wallace responded with two jump shots, and Pippen hit two three-pointers to make it 91-83 with a minute left.
Around the rim
Vince Carter scored 32 points and rookie Morris Peterson made seven three-pointers en route to a career-high 29 points, leading the Raptors over the Cavaliers, 101-89. Peterson made seven straight three-pointers during the second and third quarters. His dunk gave Toronto, which has won eight straight over the Cavaliers, a 16-point lead early in the fourth. . . . Brian Grant scored 26 points and Tim Hardaway broke out of a scoring slump with 22, leading the Heat over the Wizards, 103-95. Miami, which won for the 12th time in 14 home games, shot a season-best 56.2 percent. Heat guard Eddie Jones left in the first quarter with a strained left hamstring and didn't return. . . . Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points as the Mavericks subdued the Grizzlies, 116-112, to move 14 games above .500 for the first time in 13 seasons. . . . Peja Stojakovic had 25 points and Vlade Divac added 24 points and 12 rebounds as the Kings scored the first 14 points in overtime to beat the Clippers, 106-93.