- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 1, 2012

NEW YORK — Amare Stoudemire will miss Game 3 of the New York Knicks‘ playoff series against the Heat after cutting his left hand, a person with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday.

Stoudemire was injured after the Knicks‘ 104-84 loss in Miami on Monday when he punched the case surrounding a fire extinguisher. He left the arena with his arm in a sling and won’t play Thursday.

Stoudemire apologized on his Twitter account for the act, which leaves the Knicks without another key player as they try to rally from a 2-0 deficit. Jeremy Lin still is recovering from knee surgery, and Iman Shumpert is out for the season after tearing a knee ligament in Game 1.

Stoudemire’s status for the rest of the series is unknown, and it’s possible his difficult season is over. He missed time in February after the death of his brother and again late in the season with a bulging disk in his back, and when he did play had his worst statistical season since he was a rookie in 2002-03.

The Knicks played well without him down the stretch by moving Carmelo Anthony to power forward, where he could take advantage of slower opponents. But asking him to carry so much of the offense on his own is probably too much against the Heat, who are 5-0 against the Knicks this season.

Popovich named top coach

SAN ANTONIO — Gregg Popovich is the NBA’s Coach of the Year after leading the San Antonio Spurs to 50 wins in the lockout-shortened season and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

The announcement came Tuesday. Popovich also won the award in 2003 when San Antonio won its second of four championships, and he might be headed for a fifth ring if the Spurs keep this up.

After a 12-9 start, the Spurs lost only seven more games the rest of the season.

Popovich received 77 first-place votes. Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was second (27), Indiana coach Frank Vogel was third (seven) and Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was fourth (six). Boston’s Doc Rivers and Denver’s George Karl each received a vote.

Around the league

BUCKS: Scott Skiles will return to coach Milwaukee next season. He has a year left on his contract, which was extended in 2010. Skiles is 146-166 in four seasons with the Bucks. He led Milwaukee to a 46-win season and made the playoffs in 2009-2010, where the Bucks lost to the Atlanta Hawks. Milwaukee has missed the postseason two straight seasons since then.

NUGGETS: Denver forward Wilson Chandler is expected to be ready by the start of training camp next season after undergoing surgery to repair a labral tear in his left hip. Chandler, 24, averaged 9.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in eight games, including six starts, but spent more time on the sideline than on the court after hurting his hip.

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