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Amar’e’s 41 powers Knicks over Sixers

Led by Amar’e Stoudemire’s season-high 41 points, the Knicks earned some breathing room in the Eastern Conference standings over the suddenly surging Sixers.

Led by Amar’e Stoudemire’s season-high 41 points, the Knicks (26-24) earned some breathing room in the Eastern Conference standings over the suddenly surging Sixers (23-27) with a 117-103 win yesterday at the Garden.

“We knew how important this game was for us,” said Stoudemire, who scored just 21 in last Friday’s 100-98 loss to the Sixers. “In Philly they caught us off guard with their energy and the way they play, and we came out ... and retaliated.”

Stoudemire was a handful for the Sixers’ Elton Brand. The Knicks, though, got balanced scoring as Landry Fields added a career-high 25 points, Raymond Felton 13 points and 13 assists and a healthy Wilson Chandler chipped in with 12 points.

A closer look ...


1. Amar’e Stoudemire continued his trend of starting hot, as he netted 19 points in the first half. In his previous home game against the Dallas Mavericks, Wednesday night, Stoudemire posted all 21 of his points in the opening half. His torrid pace yesterday also featured a whirlwind of points, as he notched nine in the final 1:30 of the half. Stoudemire finished with a game-high 41points, including a season-high 17 made field goals. He also added four blocks on the defensive end.

2. The Knicks started off hot as a team as well – something they didn’t do, Friday night in the frontend of the home-and-home. New York shot 56 percent in the first half and built leads of seven, nine, and 10 in the opening half. Everything right happened for New York in the first half as it outscored [55-51] and outrebounded [20-15] the Sixers. Stoudemire wasn’t the lone star, as rookie sensation Landry Fields had nine points and six rebounds, Danilo Gallinari had eight points, and Toney Douglas added seven points. New York also got a pleasant surprise as Timofey Mozgov had five rebounds and a blocked shot. Mozgov got his first start since early November due to Ronny Turiaf’s injury [sprained ankle]. Fields finished with a career-high 25 points, while Chandler and Douglas added 10 and 12 points, respectively. Raymond Felton chipped in with 13 points and 13 assists, while Mozgov added eight rebounds and three blocks.

3. Both teams were efficient offensively as both shot over 50 percent. New York made 60 percent, while Philly shot 54 percent. Each squad had multiple runs in the game, including New York sustaining a 9-2 run to end the first and an 11-5 run in the third to extend its largest lead at the time to 10 points. Philadelphia, meanwhile, had a 16-7 run in the final five minutes of the third quarter to whittle a Knicks’ 15-point lead down to six to start the fourth. The run included a 9-0 span over three minutes when New York missed four of five threes and committed four turnovers.

4. The Knicks didn’t start off shooting the three-ball well, shooting 2 of 8 in the first half, but finished strong behind the arc, shooting [11 of 27], thanks to some timely shooting in the fourth. Fields knocked down three threes in the fourth quarter, to go along with one apiece from Douglas and Chandler, to help extend a six-point Knicks lead to start the final stanza to 15 at one point.

 
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