BOSTON (AP) — Amar’e Stoudemire expects to be ready for the New York Knicks’ next playoff game after back spasms sidelined him for the entire second half of their 96-93 loss on Tuesday night that gave the Boston Celtics a 2-0 lead.
“I should be ready for Game 3,” he said after the game, standing instead of sitting behind the podium at his postgame news conference. “We’ll see how it goes (Wednesday) and next day, but I’m pretty sure — I’m hoping — I’ll be ready Friday.”
Stoudemire said he believed he hurt himself during pregame warmups.
“I couldn’t hardly move. I was trying to play through it,” he said. “Once I felt that sharp pain, I couldn’t take it.”
Game 3 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series is set for Friday night in New York.
“He should be OK Friday. … He just felt a little twinge,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Stoudemire finished with four points and five rebounds in 17 minutes, 39 seconds. In the opener, he had 28 points and 11 rebounds but the Knicks lost 87-85.
The Knicks already were without Chauncey Billups, who missed Tuesday’s game with a strained left knee suffered in the final minute of the opener.
Shawne Williams started in Stoudemire’s place in the second half. The Knicks led 51-49 before Boston scored the next seven points, capped by a 3-pointer by Paul Pierce. The Knicks, trailing 56-51, then called timeout with 6:55 left in the third quarter and Stoudemire stayed on the bench when play resumed.
Boston led 74-63 before Carmelo Anthony scored the last four points of the third quarter, cutting the lead to 74-67.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Assuming Stoudemire and Billups return, will the Knicks get back in the series?