February 7 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“The New York Knicks, essentially, needed the game yesterday afternoon against the 76ers at Madison Square Garden.
The Sixers wanted it.
Need trumped want as New York shot close to 60 percent and got a monstrous game from Amare Stoudemire en route to a 117-103 win, which was revenge for the Sixers taking the first game of the home-and-home series on Friday night.
Stoudemire erupted for 41 points on 17-for-21 shooting. When he wasn’t continuously draining 15-to-18 footers, he was able to drive his way to the basket for layups in traffic or get to the foul line, where he made all seven free throws.
“Remember, I always talked about my formula [of limiting a player to one point for every shot taken], so, today, it was two points per shot,” said coach Doug Collins, whose club dropped to 23-27. “We wanted him making those two-point jump shots [as opposed to driving to the basket] and he knocked them down.
“But it wasn’t so much that. They hit us for 11 threes today and when they get double-digit threes they’re going to be tough to beat.”
When Stoudemire wasn’t scoring, which obviously wasn’t too frequently, rookie Landry Fields supplied a terrific alternative as he went for 25 points, missed just three of his 13 shots, made five three-pointers and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Point guard Raymond Felton chipped in with 13 points and 13 assists as the Knicks (26-24) won for just the fifth time in 15 games and kept a three-game lead over the Sixers for the sixth seeding in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.
The Sixers, who suffered just their second loss in eight games, were paced by Elton Brand’s 28 points. In these two games against the Knicks, the Sixers‘ power forward accumulated 61 points and 21 rebounds.
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