BOSTON (AP) – Steve Francis scored 22 points, Eddy Curry added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 101-77 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

The Celtics (4-8) have dropped their last two games after putting together their first three-game winning streak since April 2005. The Knicks (5-9) beat the Celtics for only the sixth time in their last 22 tries.

Channing Frye added 13 points and six rebounds and David Lee had 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for the Knicks, who outscored the Celtics 48-26 in the paint and outrebounded them, 48 to 30.

That helped open things up for Francis, who had 12 points in the third quarter, when the Knicks outscored the Celtics 29-14.

Quentin Richardson, who had struggled from the field in the Knicks’ four previous contests, scored 17 points. Reserve Nate Robinson, who had tallied one point in his last two games, added 11 points. Jamal Crawford, who scored 37 points in his last outing against the Celtics, was held to four.

Wally Szczerbiak led the Celtics with 16 points. Paul Pierce, Boston’s leading scorer, was held to 12 points. Sebastian Telfair added 12 points.

The Knicks overcame an eight-point Boston lead in the second quarter to grab a 52-47 advantage at halftime. Led by 15 points from Curry, and nine rebounds and five assists from Lee, the Knicks outscored the Celtics 28-14 in the paint in the first half.

Notes: After not attempting a field goal in 29 minutes against the Timberwolves on Wednesday night, Richardson took the first shot of the game – and missed. He shot 7-for-11 from the field on Friday after shooting 5-for-31 from the field in his previous four games. Frye, who scored six points in the teams’ last meeting, scored nine points in the first quarter. Robinson has scored in double figures in 10 of 14 games. Red Sox manager Terry Francona watched the game courtside.

AP-ES-11-24-06 2202EST

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