City Sports Report

Amar’e’s 41 Leads Knicks Over 76ers, 117-103 by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

With a sellout crowd of 19,763 chanting “MVP”, New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire put up an MVP-worthy performance wutg 41 points on 17-21 shooting, and also pulled down 7 rebounds and dished out 4 assists, as the Knicks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 117-103. 

“He understands the big moment and the stage.  That’s why he came to New York.  He has the quality that he is not backing down for anything.  He is so talented” Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni said of Stoudemire after the game.  76ers head coach Doug Collins also complimented Stoudemire.  “The guy is a great great player.  They paid Amar’e to come here to New York and be a star.  Amar’e had a great game going.”

Stoudemire himself said “We were all focused tonight.  We knew how important this was for us.”

The Knicks got off to a slow start against the 76ers in Philadelphia on Friday, but took a 7-point first quarter lead in this one, and would lead by as much as 15, the first being 77-62 with 5:38 left in the third quarter on a three by Wilson Chandler.

When asked about playing the team directing behind the Knicks in the playoff standings, D’Antoni responded “It was a huge game.  I think out focus should be trying to get in the 40s with wins.  That will get us in the playoffs.  Our goal all year is to get into the playoffs and we know more or less the number but do not know for sure.”

Landry Fields finished with a career-high 25 points on 10-13 from the field and 5-7 from three-point range, while also pulling down 10 rebounds  Stoudemire was pleased with the performance of his teammate.  “In order for us to take the next step to the elite we have to focus in and make big shots, and tonight Landry showed great focus on those shots.  He took his time and stayed with it on the follow-through, and was able to knock those down.  Those are the type of shots we have to make in order to be a better team.”

Raymond Felton had 13 points, 13 assists, and 3 steals, good for his 21st double-double of the season, and Danilo Gallinari added 10 points and 5 assists.  Chandler added 12 points and Toney Douglas added 10, both off the bench.

The Knicks started rookie center Timofey Mozgov (who finished with 3 points and 8 rebounds, before fouling out) to help contain Elton Brand who scored 33 on Friday, but Brand still led the 76ers with 28 points and 5 rebounds.  Andre Iguodala scored 14 points and dished out 8 assists.  Lou Williams had 19 points and 4 assists, while Thaddeus Young added 16 points and 5 rebounds, both off the bench.

The Knicks host all-star and top rookie of the year candidate Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday at 7pm at Madison Square Garden.

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