- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BOSTON (AP) - Amare Stoudemire was declared out for the entire second half of the New York Knicks’ playoff game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night because of back spasms.

The Knicks announced late in the third quarter of Game 2 that Stoudemire would not return after playing just 18 minutes in the first half. He had four points on 2-for-9 shooting and five rebounds.

The Knicks already were without Chauncey Billups, who missed the game with a strained left knee suffered in the final minute of the opener. Game 3 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series is set for Friday night in New York.

Stoudemire led the Knicks with 28 points and 11 rebounds in Boston’s 87-85 win in the opener on Sunday night.

Shawne Williams started in his place in the second half. The Knicks led 51-49 before Boston scored the next seven points, capped by a 3-pointer by Paul Pierce. The Knicks, trailing 56-51, then called timeout with 6:55 left in the third quarter and Stoudemire stayed on the bench when play resumed.

Boston led 74-63 before Carmelo Anthony scored the last four points of the third quarter, cutting the lead to 74-67.

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