MIAMI - Carmelo Anthony looked as if he was ready to take on LeBron James and the Miami Heat Big Three all by himself Monday night. He may have to for the rest of this playoff series.
Amar’e Stoudemire was so frustrated after the Knicks’ 104-94 loss to the Heat in Game 2 that he punched a fire extinguisher that was inside a glass case outside the locker room and suffered a left-hand laceration.
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Stoudemire received stitches and left the AmericanAirlines Arena with his hand heavily taped and his arm in a sling. He didn’t speak to reporters.
The Knicks, who are down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series to the Heat, had no updates other than Stoudemire will be re-evaluated Tuesday. But Tyson Chandler said Stoudemire won’t play in Game 3 on Thursday at The Garden.
“We just know right now that he has a laceration and he’s probably going to be out,” Chandler said. “It’s tough obviously. Amar’e is a huge part of this team. Without him it’s going to make it more difficult. We already lost one player. That’s two players out of the starting lineup. It makes it tougher.”
The Knicks lost Iman Shumpert for the season with a torn left ACL and lateral meniscus in Game 1. Chandler has been fighting the flu and Baron Davis has been slowed by a bad back. Still, the Knicks had their chances to even the series in Game 2.
They were much more competitive than Saturday when the Heat trounced the Knicks by 33 points. Anthony was the catalyst.
He surpassed his Game 1 total of 11 in the first quarter and finished 12-for-26 with 30 points. But the Heat shut down Anthony and the Knicks in the second half. They held him to nine points and the Knicks to nine field goals over the last 13:31, and built a 15-point fourth-quarter lead.
“They weren’t going to allow me to go out there and score 40 or 50 points or anything like that,” Anthony said. “They’re a great team, a great defensive team, great at making adjustments and they did that in the second half.”
The loss was the Knicks’ 12th straight playoff defeat, tying the Grizzlies’ NBA record for most consecutive postseason losses. The Knicks’ last playoff win was April 29, 2001, against the Raptors. Without Stoudemire, the Knicks could set a new record Thursday.
Stoudemire was quiet for most of the night. He missed three foul shots on one trip late in the third quarter. He was awarded a third free throw because of a Miami lane violation. He ended up scoring 18 points.
“Nobody wants to lose,” Anthony said. “My thing as one of the leaders of the team is you got to keep everybody positive, you got to keep everybody’s heads up you got to keep everybody confident. It’s far from over. It’s far from over. I believe that. We believe that.”
Chandler was much more energetic and effective than his zero-point, seven-turnover Game 1 performance. He had 13 points and seven rebounds. Davis scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half.
The Knicks trailed 72-68 after a Chandler dunk with 1:32 to go in the third. That was their last field goal until a Stoudemire layup with 8:32 left in the game.
The Heat took its biggest lead, 92-77, on a Bosh corner three with 5:21 remaining. The Knicks drew within 94-83 after a J.R. Smith jumper two minutes later. The Knicks needed a stop, but gave up a Shane Battier three from the elbow to make it 97-83 with 2:51 remaining.
“We can’t get so upset,” Chandler said. “We’ve got to stick together. They did what they were supposed to do. They came, they protected home floor. Now we’ve got to do the same. We’ve got to bring the series back here and see what happens from there.”