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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 83, Bulls 78

By Ian Begley



NEW YORK -- The Knicks gave embattled coach Mike Woodson some room to breathe on Wednesday night.

But not after a big scare. New York (6-15) nearly blew a 23-point, third-quarter lead against the Bulls but relied on Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony down the stretch to seal the win.

The Knicks had lost 11 of 13 entering Wednesday's game, so there was rampant speculation about Woodson's job security.

The victory over Chicago should quiet the noise for one night.

Amar'e clutch: toudemire came up clutch early in the second quarter and late in the fourth for the Knicks.

In the second, Stoudemire had 10 points in 12 minutes to spur New York's 19-0 run.

In the fourth, Stoudemire, playing both games of a back-to-back for the first time this season, hit an 18-footer with 2:33 to play to give the Knicks a 76-74 lead.

Chicago had come all the way back from 23 down to tie the score at 74-74 two possessions earlier.

Stoudemire finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in a season-high 29 minutes off the bench.

Woodson would be wise to be cautious with Stoudemire on Friday against Boston.

The last time Stoudemire played both games of a back-to-back (last March), he ended up needing arthroscopic surgery to repair a knee injury.

Melo fellow: Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points and 10 rebounds. He scored nine of his 30 in the fourth quarter, including seven of eight free throws in the final 1:29 to help seal the win.

Anthony and Stoudemire were the only Knicks to score in double figures.

J.R. Smith was 2-for-8 from the floor and finished with seven points. Andrea Bargnani had eight points on 4-for-10 shooting.

Shump scare: The Knicks got a scare in the third quarter when Iman Shumpert left the game with a bruised left knee.

Shumpert appeared to injure his knee in a collision with Chicago's Mike Dunleavy.

The team announced shortly thereafter that Shumpert was doubtful to return.

Any issue involving Shumpert's left knee is a cause for concern. Shumpert had surgery to repair ACL and meniscus tears in his left knee in April 2012. He then had a second surgical procedure on the same knee in the offseason.

What's next: The Knicks head to Boston on Friday to take on the Celtics.

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