The Knicks tipped off 2011 with a win, albeit one that was marred with injuries and a bit too close for comfort.
New York and Indiana played a sloppy, fast-paced affair. Indiana shot an abysmal 37 percent from the field, but made up for it by pulling down heaps of offensive rebounds. Danny Granger led them on that front with 17 boards to go with his 25 points. The Knicks somehow overcame a 57-45 rebound deficit (as well as the Pacers attempting 26(!) more field goals) by getting to the line (29-40) and shooting decently from outside (7-17).
Amar'e Stoudemire was frustrated by solid, physical defense from the Indiana big men, and also an utter inability to sink his usual mid-range jumpers in the early going. As he's been known to do, though, Stoudemire stepped up his play in the end, scoring six of his nine fourth quarter points in the game's final three minutes. He finished with 26 points.
Stoudemire received plenty of help from Danilo Gallinari, who had his most aggressive game in quite a while. He drove with abandon, repeatedly drawing fouls (9-11) and registering an efficient line of 19 points on just eight shots. Unfortunately, his splendid afternoon was cut short when Brandon Rush fell into his left knee in the second half. Gallinari returned to the locker room, where x-rays showed no bone injuries. An MRI will be conducted on Monday to check for any muscle and tissue damage.
Ronny Turiaf, meanwhile, had a massive game on the defensive end. In 28 minutes off the bench (a high number for Turiaf, considering recent trends), the grizzliest Knick had six violent rejections and led the team with 10 rebounds. Though Stoudemire led the team in the end, Turiaf undoubtedly gets the game ball for the afternoon. He, too, appeared to suffer a bit of an injury to his arm on his sixth and final block, while Toney Douglas aggravated a shoulder injury that had been bothering him for quite some time.
The banged-up Knicks now face San Antonio on Tuesday before departing for a four-game west coast road trip.