NEW YORK (AP) - With the Knicks needing to stop a slide, Amare Stoudemire took matters into his own hands.
He scored 26 points, including six of New York's last seven points, and the Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 98-92 Sunday.
``This was definitely huge,' Stoudemire said. ``This was a big game for us. Indiana is right behind us as far as the playoff race, so it was important for us to get this win. We understand how big this game was for us and in the fourth quarter, we played with a sense of urgency and we were able to get the win.'
Danny Granger had 25 points and 17 rebounds, and Darren Collison had 22 points, six assists and five rebounds for the Pacers, who lost for the fourth time in their last five games.
The Knicks dropped a pair of games in Florida last week to the Heat and the Magic, and have San Antonio coming to town Tuesday.
``It was one of those nights where we had to grind it out,' D'Antoni said. ``I though we did a good job when it was time to win the game.'
The Knicks trailed 87-84 early in the fourth quarter, but Toney Douglas and Wilson Chandler each made a 3-pointer to give New York a 90-87 lead.
Indiana's James Posey answered with a 3 of his own, but Raymond Felton made one of two free throws to give New York a 91-90 lead.
The Knicks closed out the game on a pair of layups by Stoudemire and a jumper that made it 97-92. Felton added another free throw with 18.9 seconds remaining.
``We shouldn't have won. We didn't shoot the ball to well, but they didn't shoot it particularly great either,' Granger said. ``We didn't finish this one well. Amare hit a tough shot.'
With almost six minutes left in the game, Indiana's Brandon Rush drove for a right-handed layup but missed. As he lost his balance, his right shoulder collided with Danilo Gallinari's left knee.
Gallinari did not return. A spokesman for the Knicks said that Gallinari had a sprained left knee. X-rays were negative and he will go in for an MRI on Monday.
Gallinari said he felt some ``stretch and a little click' on the side of his knee.
``There's nothing to worry about,' Gallinari said. ``I felt a lot of pain right after the guy fell on my knee. But when I started to walk, the pain started to go down. Actually right now it's (just) discomfort.'
The Associated Press News Service
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