By Mark Herrmann

If the occasion calls for breaking the unwritten rule about his maximum playing time, so be it. If circumstances demand ignoring doctors’ orders to sit out the second half of back-to-back games, that’s OK, too. At this stage in the season and his career, Amar’e Stoudemire figures there is no reason to leave anything in the tank.

In the past three games, he has averaged 18 points on 24-for-37 shooting (an impressive .649 percentage). He has started the past two games, each time playing more than 30 minutes, which had been considered the limit his surgically repaired knee could take. With the Knicks in a tailspin that threatened their slim hope to make the playoffs, he volunteered to play in Detroit Monday night after a game in Chicago Sunday afternoon, mindful that medical experts suggested he not play two days in a row.

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