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Friday, March 23, 2012
Stoudemire steps up; Knicks streak hits five
PHILADELPHIA — As Amare Stoudemire walked into the New York locker room with a towel over his shoulders, the coaching staff followed. When the door closed, one jubilant voice inside screamed: "How 'Bout Those Knicks!"
How about 'em, indeed.
Fueled by a dose of Linsanity and a timely coaching change, the Knicks are making a furious charge toward a division title. Knocking off a 76ers team in full swoon was the latest step.
Stoudemire had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the Knicks to their fifth straight victory, 82-79 over fading Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
Jeremy Lin scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Carmelo Anthony had 10 to help the Knicks pull within three games of the Atlantic Division leaders and clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker.
"It's been our goal," Anthony said. "That's never changed."
The game ended with thousands of New York fans chanting, "Let's go Knicks!"
Linsanity has turned into Winsanity as the Knicks are unbeaten since Mike D'Antoni stepped down exactly a week earlier.
"I was sweating a little bit tonight," interim coach Mike Woodson said. "But I learned that my team is not going to buckle, and I honestly believe that they believe they can win any game that they play now."
Only 10 days earlier, the Sixers handed the Knicks their fifth straight loss, 106-94. Stoudemire sat alongside Anthony for the entire fourth quarter.
Both were needed this time around, especially with Lin having a miserable first three quarters. He missed 10 of his first 11 shots and had only two assists — one on a long pass to a streaking Anthony for a thunderous dunk.
Lin wasn't the only scorer who couldn't buy a bucket. Iguodala, who averages 12.2 points, didn't score his first field goal until there was 45 seconds left in the first half. He scored 13 points.
Of course, Linsanity is so 15 minutes ago now that Tebowmania headlines New York.
"I'm just excited for him and to see what he does," Lin said after the Jets acquired Tim Tebow on Wednesday. "We'll see what happens next year. But I'm excited, obviously, that he's going to be in New York."
Lakers 109, Mavericks 93
In Dallas, Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol added 27 points and nine rebounds, and Los Angeles stopped theMavericks' four-game winning streak.
Thunder 114, Clippers 91
In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 32 points and nine rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 19 points and the Thunder shut down Blake Griffin to beat the Clippers.
Oklahoma City guard Thunder Derek Fisher — signed just before the game after he bought out of his contract with Houston — scored five points in 19 minutes.
Bulls 94, Raptors 82
In Toronto, John Lucas scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter, Luol Deng had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Chicago rallied to beat the Raptors.
Spurs 116, Timberwolves 11
In San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and the Spurs beat Minnesota.
Magic 103, Suns 93
In Orlando, Ryan Anderson hit seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points, and Dwight Howard added 28 points and 16 rebounds to help the Magic hold off Phoenix.
Hawks 103, Cavaliers 102 (OT)
In Atlanta, Joe Johnson hit a tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation and knocked down a baseline jumper with 10 seconds left in overtime.
Wizards 108, Nets 89
In Newark, New Jersey, Nene had 22 points and 10 rebounds in his Washington debut.
Warriors 101, Hornets 92
In New Orleans, rookie Klay Thompson scored a career-high 27 points, David Lee added 25 and Golden State beat New Orleans.
Nuggets 116, Pistons 115
In Denver, JaVale McGee rebounded a missed free throw following a basket with 5 seconds remaining and dunked to give the Nuggets the win over Detroit.