Drops of blood stained the carpet leading up to the back entrance of the New York Knicks’ locker room. The glass portion of a nearby fire-extinguisher case was quickly replaced. And Amare Stoudemire needed doctors and paramedics to treat a postgame cut on his left hand.
The Knicks’ Amare Stoudemire leaves American Airlines Arena with his left arm in a sling after lacerating his hand by punching something — reportedly the glass housing a fire extinguisher — in the locker room after the Knicks’ 12th straight playoff loss.
Game 2 probably wasn’t all the Knicks lost in Miami on Monday night.
Stoudemire left the building with a bulky wrap over his left hand, long after the Heat took control of the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series with a 104-94 win over the Knicks, going up 2-0 in the matchup.
It resumes Thursday in New York, and although the Knicks were saying nothing for certain, it seems most unlikely that Stoudemire would be able to play.
”I really don’t know what’s the situation with that,” said Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who said he was ”on the court” when Stoudemire apparently punched the glass of the fire extinguisher case, as several reports stated.
Knicks center Tyson Chandler said he did not expect Stoudemire to play Game 3. An update from the Knicks said, ”Extent of injury is unknown at this time.”
Stoudemire went on Twitter to apologize ”to the fans and my team” and posted a message saying he is ”so mad at myself” and that he is ”not proud of my actions.”
Dwyane Wade scored 25 points, Chris Bosh added 21 and LeBron James finished with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, but their night was completely overshadowed by Stoudemire’s postgame punch.
”You never want to hear anyone gets hurt,” Wade said. ”Hopefully he gets better. We want all their guns on the court.”
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Everything the Heat did seemed like old news quickly after the game, when all anyone really wanted to talk about was what was going on in the Knicks locker room. Miami-Dade paramedics, who staff every game, were summoned while reporters were kept outside much longer than the typical 10-minute cooling-off period.
”We’re all frustrated,” Chandler said.
Stoudemire declined to say anything when he walked out of the shower area in the locker room, one towel around his waist, another shielding his left hand, which he held elevated as he slipped into the privacy of the training room, which is off-limits to basically everyone but team personnel.
Almost forgotten: Miami had just sent New York to its NBA-record-tying 12th straight postseason loss.
”This is a series,” Chandler said. ”We’ve got to go home win the next two and turn into a best-of-three after that.”
Anthony scored 30 points on 12-for-26 shooting for New York, which got 18 points from Stoudemire and 13 apiece from Chandler and J.R. Smith. The only other team to lose 12 straight playoff games is the Memphis Grizzlies, who dropped their first dozen postseason contests from 2004 through 2006.
New York’s last postseason win came April 29, 2001.
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Mario Chalmers scored 13 points and Mike Miller and Shane Battier each shot 3 for 5 from 3-point range on their way to 11-point games for the defending East champion Heat, who shot 52 percent.
”Every game we try to find our shooters, get them comfortable in the offense and once they catch them, they can let it fly,” James said. ”It was concerted effort tonight to get them the ball and move the ball from one side to the other.”
Baron Davis, who sat most of the first half and has been battling back issues, finished with 12 points for the Knicks.
The Heat came into the game saying they expected Anthony to be much more aggressive. They were right.
Anthony opened with an 11-shot quarter — the last time someone took more in the first 12 minutes of a playoff game was May 15, 2006, when Richard Hamilton got 12 shots off for Detroit against Cleveland. Anthony missed all seven of the jumpers he took in Game 1 when guarded by James, then got his first one to fall on the game’s first possession Monday.
By halftime, Anthony was up to 21 points on 9-for-18 shooting, the Knicks needing all that and more. Wade, James and Bosh combined for 41 points in the first two quarters, helping Miami take a 53-47 lead.
Unlike Game 1, it wasn’t over by halftime. And play was heated, just not overheated. Well, until postgame, anyway.
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Chandler, who set a back pick that sent James tumbling late in Saturday’s first half, picked up a technical for taunting early in the second quarter when he went over Miller for a putback dunk and then glared at him for a few moments. A few minutes later, James did a fist-pump toward the seats after a layup late in the half.
But whenever Miami was on the cusp of pulling away, New York had answers.
Consecutive baskets by James midway through the third quarter, the second of those good enough for him to merit it worthy of a chest-bump and long look at the Knicks bench, put Miami up 67-56 — then its biggest lead. Four minutes later, the Knicks were within four, a dunk by Chandler making it 72-68 with 1:37 left in the period.
Miami’s margin was back to nine after a flurry ended the quarter. James drove right and got just about every Knick to shift with him, leaving Battier all alone for a 3-pointer, and James’ three-point play as the shot clock was running down had him laughing and the Heat up 78-69 going into the fourth.
The Knicks never got any closer, and the Heat wound up holding serve at home.
”We did what we’re supposed to do,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”It’s not anything more than that. We’re already trying to leave this game behind.”
By then, word was just seeping out of what happened in the Knicks locker room.
”Amare is a huge piece of this team,” Chandler said. ”And, you know, without him, it’s going to make it more difficult.”
Notes: It was Miami’s 57th straight home postseason sellout. … Knicks G Mike Bibby came out of one of his shoes during play early in the second quarter, then got miffed after Wade picked up the sneaker and tossed it out of his reach as New York took the ball into the offensive end. ”I don’t think many people have done that before,” Wade said. … Stoudemire missed two free throws with 54.2 seconds left in the third quarter, then got to try the second one again after James was called for a lane violation – and missed that as well. … Heat F Udonis Haslem bought tickets for relatives of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26. … Knicks G Iman Shumpert, who will have surgery this week to repair a torn ligament in his left knee, watched from the locker room. … It’s the first time the Heat have held a 2-0 series lead over the Knicks. All four previous matchups were split after the opening two games.