By Alan Walsh
Amar’e Stoudemire went well over his prescribed playing time and clocked 32 minutes on Monday, having another efficient shooting night. He went 10-15 from the floor en route to scoring a team-high 22 points off the bench in a 102-97 Knicks win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Stoudemire entered the game just four minutes in, and this is great news for the Knicks. He also hasn’t been playing much late in games because of his time-restriction but with Carmelo Anthony out of the game with soreness in his knee, STAT answered the call. With 40 seconds left he had the biggest play of the game.
With the Knicks up two, Stoudemire drove the ball strong to the bucket and was initially rejected. He got the ball back and got it in the second time, which gave the Knicks a four-point lead late.
“That’s determination,” said Stoudemire. “We knew we couldn’t afford to lose this game. We came out with some real determination down the stretch.”
The game was after all, determined by defense in the closing seconds. With the Cavs down three, Kyrie Irving was going for the tie but Tyson Chandler was there to get his hand on the shot and the Knicks escaped Cleveland with the win.
“We all stepped up defensively,” said Amar’e Stoudemire. “Offensively, we spaced the ball out, the ball was moving. We were able to get some good shots.”