Amar’e Stoudemire Returns, Blazers Beat Knicks
After missing the first 30 games of the season the Knicks and especially Knicks fans welcomed back oft injured forward Amar'e Stoudemire. Also returning to the lineup was Carmelo Anthony, who missed a few games with a knee injury and scored 45 points. However, neither could make a stop and Portland won at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, 105-100.
Stoudemire came off the bench to a huge ovation late in the first quarter. He replaced a player named defense, because that disappeared from the Knicks team on the floor. In 17 minutes of playing time Amar'e scored six points. The rust was more than obvious. When he returned to action in the third quarter he flowed much better with the team.
Also flowing was Portland star Nicolas Batum and his Blazer teammates, Batum scored 26 and highly regarded rookie Damian Lillard had 21 points, 6 assists and 5 boards.
Carmelo Anthony had a great scoring game with 45 points, tying his season high. J.R. Smith knocked down 28 for the Knicks in a losing effort. Certainly this was a big change from the last time Portland came to MSG and the Knicks destroyed the Blazers 121-79.
The Knicks surrendered 58 points in the first half, not a season high but not pretty either. They rallied late and cut the double digit deficit to four but fell short. Four of Portland's five starters had at least 18 points. Such was not the case for New York, as starting point guard Jason Kidd was not to be found and left off the score sheet with zero points.
Stoudemire's official line score for the return: 17 minutes, 3/8 from the floor, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 6 points.