After a slow start, Amar’e Stoudemire exploded for 35 points, and the New York Knicks defeated area rival New Jersey Nets 111-100, to go above .500 for the first time this late in an NBA season since January 4, 2005, when they were 16-15. Stoudemire, who also pulled down 9 rebounds, had 2 steals and 2 assists, scored 30+ in his second-straight game. Starters Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton also had dynamic games and double-doubles, with Chandler scoring 27 points, with 11 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 assists, while Felton added 21 points, with 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals. Danilo Gallinari was the only other Knick in double figures, scoring 13 points, while pulling down 6 rebounds.
The Nets scored the first 6 points of the game, and would eventually lead by as many as 9, 58-49, in the second quarter, but a 6-0 run by the Knicks to end the second quarter cut the lead to 58-55 as the game went to halftime. The Knicks would then explode offensively and crank it up defensively, as they outscored the Nets 33-15 in the third quarter to take an 88-73 lead into the fourth quarter. The Knicks would allow the lead to get no closer than 8, as they closed out the game with 23-fourth quarter points.
Net center Brook Lopez scored a season-high 36 points, on 14-24 shooting, and pulled down 5 rebounds, while blocking 3 shots. Jordan Farmer came off the bench to score 17 points, dish out 4 assists, and grab 3 rebounds. The only other Net in double figures was Travis Outlaw, who scored 13 points.
Net guard Devin Harris left the game with 6:20 left in the third quarter after teammate Kris Humphries landed on his leg after a failed block attempt. Harris will have an MRI today to determine the damage, if any.
The Knicks have won seven of their last 8, and will play in New Orleans against the Hornets Friday night. The Nets face the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at the Prudential Center in Newark.