MIAMI (AP) - Amare Stoudemire draped a towel over his left hand as he walked into the privacy of the New York Knicks‘ training room an hour after the game, needing a sanctuary from prying eyes.
The specifics of what Stoudemire did immediately after Game 2 were unclear. Only this was certain: His hand was cut so severely that doctors and paramedics were summoned, drops of blood stained the carpet, a piece of glass in the door to a fire-extinguisher case needed to be replaced, and a bad night for the Knicks on the court got much worse when Stoudemire walked off it.
Stoudemire’s availability _ and New York’s hopes _ for the rest of this Eastern Conference first-round series against the Miami Heat look bleak at best, first because the Knicks were beaten 104-94 on Monday night to fall into a 2-0 hole in the best-of-seven matchup, then because of whatever emotions boiled over near the locker room afterward.
“I am so mad at myself right now, I want to apologize to the fans and my team, not proud of my actions, headed home for a new start,” Stoudemire wrote on Twitter about two hours after the game.
Game 3 is Thursday. Before the Knicks left the arena for the flight to New York, a team official said the extent of the injury is unknown. But in the locker room, Knicks center Tyson Chandler said he did not expect Stoudemire to be able to play when the series returns to Madison Square Garden.
So on their trip to Miami, the Knicks lost two games and two starters. Guard Iman Shumpert was lost for 6 to 8 months after tearing a knee ligament in Game 1, a freak play after a misstep. Stoudemire now appears gone as well, because of a mistake.
Chris Bosh added 21 points and LeBron James finished with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, but their night was completely overshadowed by whatever went on with Stoudemire in the hallway that’s just a few steps from the edge of the court.
Everything the Heat did seemed like old news quickly after the game, when all anyone really wanted to talk about was what was going on in the Knicks locker room. Miami-Dade paramedics _ who staff every game _ were summoned while reporters were kept outside much longer than the typical 10-minute cooling-off period.
“We’re all frustrated,” Chandler said.
Stoudemire declined to say anything when he walked out of the shower area in the locker room, one towel around his waist, another shielding his left hand.
Almost forgotten: Miami had just sent New York to its NBA-record-tying 12th straight postseason loss.