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Sunday, March 11, 2012
Tyson Chandler back for Knicks

By Ian Begley
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Knicks center Tyson Chandler returned to the court on Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers after a two-game absence.

Chandler, who missed the final two games of the Knicks' four-game road trip due to a left hamstring strain, scored eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds Sunday in a 106-94 loss to the Sixers.

Without Chandler in the lineup, New York allowed 118.5 points per game and struggled to defend the rim. San Antonio scored 60 points in the paint in a 118-105 win over New York on Wednesday. Milwaukee had 17 offensive rebounds to the Knicks' 9 in a 119-114 win on Friday. New York hoped Chandler would help shore up the defense on Sunday. But Philadelphia shot 50 percent from the field and outscored the Knicks, 38-24, in the third quarter.

"Collectively we just didn't play well," coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Knicks (18-23) lost their fifth straight. "Collectively, our spirit's just not good. Collectively, our defensive is not very good at all."

Chandler also played through lingering pain in his left wrist on Sunday. He has worn protective padding on his wrist since injuring it on Feb. 19 in a win over Dallas. He winced in pain after completing an alley-oop dunk in the first half on Sunday but believes that he'll be healthy enough to play Monday in Chicago.

"I'm not myself right now. I know that," Chandler said. "The thing I've got to do is I've got to help my team now, battle through injuries. My team needs me at this point and whatever I've got, I've got to deal with."

The Knicks were again without reserve forward Jared Jeffries on Sunday. Jeffries has missed the past two games with a sore right knee.

D'Antoni did not rule Jeffries out for Monday's game at Chicago but hinted that he was more likely to return Wednesday against Portland.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.