NEW YORK After spending the morning taking trash talk to a new level, Kenyon Martin made a bigger statement on the court.
Martin ended a late offensive drought with a key three-point play in the final 30 seconds, and the New Jersey Nets outlasted a feisty effort from the Knicks to defeat New York 81-78 Thursday night for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.
''I kept my mouth shut and let my play speak for itself,'' Martin said. ''I said everything I wanted to say this morning.''
The first two games in this series were lopsided in favor of the Nets, but the Knicks managed to keep this one competitive. The fans were on their feet for the final several minutes of the first playoff game at Madison Square Garden in three years.
New Jersey scored just six points over the final 4 1/2 minutes, and it was barely enough as New York couldn't come all the way back after trailing by as many as 14.
''Luck had nothing to do with what we've done,'' said New Jersey's Richard Jefferson, who nearly had a triple-double. ''We played extremely hard, we played the right way.''
Game 4 will be Sunday, with the Knicks facing a task no NBA team has ever accomplished coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win a seven-game series.
Martin led New Jersey with 19 points and 15 rebounds, Jason Kidd had 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Jefferson had 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
''Nobody panicked. We kept our composure,'' Kidd said.
Stephon Marbury scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter but shot just 7-for-23 for New York. He was fouled behind the 3-point line with 3 seconds remaining and the Knicks down by three, but the officials ruled he was in the act of passing, not shooting, and awarded him two foul shots instead of three.
Spurs 95, Grizzlies 93
MEMPHIS, Tenn. Tim Duncan scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, and defending champion San Antonio spoiled the first NBA playoff game in Memphis by holding off the Grizzlies 95-93 Thursday night for a 3-0 lead in their first-round series.
The Spurs won their 14th straight game by holding off a Memphis team that fed off a sellout crowd of 19,351.
Hedo Turkoglu hit his first seven shots and finished with 18 points for the Spurs, while Tony Parker added 18 points and six assists, and Manu Ginobili had 12 points.
Memphis easily had its best performance in the playoffs, but it didn't matter as the Grizzlies lost their seventh straight game. Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies with 18 points, Jason Williams had 16, Bonzi Wells 14 and Mike Miller 12.
The Spurs can clinch this seven-game series Sunday night here in Game 4.
Duncan scored with 1:37 left to put the Spurs ahead to stay at 92-91.
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