The Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic have now played two games each in the NBA playoffs after action last night.
The Heat beat the New York Knicks 104-94, taking a 2-0 lead as the series shifts back to New York for Game 3. Dwayne Wade scored 25 for the Heat, and Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra says he was happy with the play from his three stars.
But the real story from last night’s game didn’t come until after the teams had already left the floor. On his way back to the locker room, New York power forward Amar’e Stoudemire punched a glass case surrounding a fire extinguisher severly injuring his left hand in the process. Already down two games to the heavily favored Heat, the Knicks will now be without their $100-million dollar man in Game 3.
New York center Tyson Chandler says the team will likely have to play without Stoudemire beyond Game 3 as well.
The news isn’t all bad for the Knicks, they’re actually better when Stoudemire doesn’t play.
The forward has missed 19 games already this year due to a back injury and the loss of his brother. In the games Stoudemire missed, the Knicks flourished going 14-5. This season the Knicks are losing to their opponents by an average of 1.3 points every 48 minutes with Stoudemire on the court. Without him, the Knicks are beating their opponents by an average of 7.4 points every 48 minutes.
Miami Heat shooting guard Dwayne Wade says he isn’t buying that this is a worse New York team with Stoudemire on the court.
The Heat and Knicks will resume their series on Thursday at Madison Square Garden. Tip off for Game 3 is scheduled for 7:30pm.
The Orlando Magic dropped Game 2 of their series with the Indiana Pacers last night, 93-78, evening the series up at one game apiece.
The Magic led 44-42 at halftime, despite shooting just 32 percent from the field in the first half. Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy says he wasn’t pleased with the play from his starters.
The Magic have averaged just 79.5 points per game so far in the playoffs, and they are struggling to find quality minutes from their big men without center Dwight Howard in the rotation. Even though Howard’s replacement, Glen Davis, led the way for the Magic in scoring last night, he did so on 5 for 16 shooting. Van Gundy says Davis’ 18 points last night are misleading.
Game 3 of this series will be played Wednesday in Orlando. Tip off is set for 7:30pm.