Knicks lose in Stoudemire's season debut
Updated: 2013-01-03 07:59
Amare Stoudemire made his NBA season debut and Carmelo Anthony made a big contribution after a two-game injury absence on Tuesday but couldn't lift the New York Knicks over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Portland's French Olympian Nicolas Batum scored 26 points - draining six three-pointers - to help the Trail Blazers open the new year and their four-game road trip with a 105-100 victory.
Damian Lillard added 21 points for the Trail Blazers, including a three-pointer after the Knicks had cut a double-digit deficit to three points in the final minute.
Stoudemire, playing his first game since having knee surgery shortly before the start of the season, wasn't a factor.
Stoudemire ruptured a cyst behind his left knee in a pre-season game on Oct 19 and had a procedure two days later to remove unhealthy tissue from the knee.
Despite his absence, the Knicks have thrived, and coach Mike Woodson said before Tuesday's game that he would go slow with the six-time All-Star.
"We've just got to gauge his minutes and work him slowly back in," Woodson said.
(China Daily 01/03/2013 page12)