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.
Yeah I said it. The ex protege’ of Sean Combs aka Diddy, who once went my the moniker “Puff Daddy” is back after which appears to be his third hiatus from making hip hop music as he pastor’s SANE Ministries in Atlanta, GA. But who will we get this time? Will it be Murda Mase? Sure hope not, but check out this interview with Funkmaster Flex (Hot 97) to which the Harlem MC speaks about his return to the rap game.
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From the Attic Crew, to Georgia Durt, Playboy Tre strategically made moves to remain relevant on the underground scene in the rap world. Now he’s climbing his way up the latter for a much wider audience. While on the road grinding it out with B.O.B., Tre was still able to work on his solo project and help pave the way for “Georgia Durt”. I am listening to the mixtape “Liquor Store Mascot 2 (Patron & Instrumentals)” while I’m writing this post and so far the album is amazing. Check out “Care After Me” and support hip-hop!
Rajon Rondo lost control in the final minute of Game 1, and that means he won’t be on the court for Game 2.
HAWKS VS. CELTICS
The NBA announced Monday that the Boston Celtics’ star point guard has been suspended one game without pay in the opening-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.
Rondo will miss Tuesday night’s contest in Atlanta after sticking out his chest to bump referee Marc Davis while disputing a foul call with 41 seconds left in Boston’s Game 1 loss.
The NBA’s assist leader scored 20 points and dished out 11 assists before he was tossed, leaving Boston with a huge hole in its lineup. This is Rondo’s second suspension of the season, following a two-game ban in February for throwing a ball at an official.
”That’s part of the package with our team. We’re a volatile team in a lot of ways,” coach Doc Rivers said during a practice at Georgia Tech. ”Rondo is an emotional player. … I like his fire, but sometimes he burns you.”
Boston lost both games while Rondo was suspended, but the team is 8-5 overall in games he missed this season.
”This is a resilient basketball team,” Rivers said. ”That’s what we’ve been all year. Sometimes, it takes this stuff, for whatever reason, to snap us into playing the right way. I don’t know whether we’re going to win or lose, but I can guarantee you we’ll be ready to play.”
Rondo was about the only bright spot for Boston in the series opener. He was the lone player hitting consistently from the outside, knocking down 10 of 18 shots, and he did his usual superb job as a floor leader. It was his 24th consecutive game with double-figure assists, and he turned it over only one time.
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Then, with the Celtics having trimmed a 19-point deficit down to just four, Brandon Bass went to the court tussling for a loose ball with Atlanta’s Josh Smith. Boston thought it should’ve been a jump ball, but Davis called a foul on Bass. Rondo was outraged, screaming something that immediately drew a technical. Then, with Davis’ back turned, the guard jutted out his chest to make contact with the official.
Davis signaled another technical and ejected Rondo from the game. The Hawks held on for an 83-74 victory.
Atlanta won’t have to worry about Rondo at all in Game 2.
”Certainly it changes things a little bit but, with or without him, they’ve shown they can win,” Hawks coach Larry Drew said. ”They are a veteran ballclub. They’ve been in those situations where they’ve had players out. Certainly whether he is there or not, we can’t let our guard down.”
Second-year player Avery Bradley, who’s been starting at shooting guard for the Celtics, will likely shift over to the point to take Rondo’s place. The youngster had a rough playoff debut, getting into foul trouble and scoring just 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
”He pressed,” Rivers said. ”I thought he was looking for things. He was looking to shoot instead of cut. When your mind gets too active, it’s usually hurts you. I always tell our guys that as a joke, but last night, that probably hurt Avery. He was thinking about what he wanted to do instead of just allowing the game to dictate what he should do.”
The 21-year-old Bradley, a first-round pick in 2010, spent time in the D-League during his rookie year but took on a much greater role with the Celtics this season, especially with Ray Allen battling injuries.
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Allen missed the final nine games of the regular season and the playoff opener because of an ailing right ankle. He would’ve undergone surgery if it was earlier in the year, but is trying desperately to make some kind of contribution in the playoffs.
So far, the ankle just isn’t responding, and it seems highly doubtful that Allen will be able to go in Game 2
Under no circumstances will Rivers rush the 36-year-old guard back before he is fully recovered — no matter how badly the Celtics need him with Rondo suspended.
”There’s nothing we can do about it,” the coach said. ”If Ray is not ready, he’s not ready. That’s one thing I don’t do, and I’ll never do it. Maybe I’m wrong about it. But I will never put a guy out there if he’s not ready. If Ray told me he could play and Eddie (head trainer Ed Lacerte) says he didn’t think he could play, Ray would not play. That’s just the way it is. He says he feels a little better, but I just don’t see it right now.”
The Hawks have their own injury problems, with center Zaza Pachulia still trying to come back from a sprained left foot. The Hawks already played most of the season without their top center, Al Horford, so third-stringer Jason Collins started Game 1 and did a solid job (six points, five rebounds).
But Atlanta would not have won if not for Josh Smith, who scored 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. The Hawks’ other key player, Joe Johnson, had a miserable night: 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting, including 0 of 9 from 3-point range, not to mention four sloppy turnovers — and it nearly cost the team home-court advantage.
After scoring 31 points in the opening quarter, the Hawks were downright frigid the rest of the way. They made only 19 of 54 shots over the final three quarters.
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Fortunately for Atlanta, Boston had its own problems. Paul Pierce went 5 of 19 from the field and totaled just 12 points, missing several open looks that might have completed the comeback. Kevin Garnett had a rough first half, going 1 for 9, though he did bounce back over the last two quarters to finish with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
”We needed more scoring from me last night. My shot was off,” Pierce said. ”Not only do I have to step up, but a number of guys have got to step up.”
The Hawks insist they won’t let up just because Boston will be without one of its best players.
”They’ve won games without Rondo this year,” Hawks point guard Jeff Teague said. ”We don’t take anyone lightly or take a step down.”