Stoudemire leads Knicks to fifth consecutive win
Amare Stoudemire had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the New York Knicks to their fifth straight victory, 82-79 over the host Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. Jeremy Lin scored 18 points and Carmelo Anthony had 10 to help the Knicks pull within three games of the Atlantic Division leaders.
The game ended with thousands of New York fans chanting, "Let's go Knicks!" They had reason to celebrate after Stoudemire hit a pair of big buckets down the stretch to clinch the win.
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■ Nene had 22 points and 10 rebounds in his Washington debut, and the Wizards defeated host New Jersey 108-89 in a game marred by the third-quarter ejections of Nets' All-Star point guard Deron Williams and Coach Avery Johnson for arguing a non-call on a Williams drive to the basket. Jordan Crawford added 23 points and former Kentucky star John Wall had 12 points and eight assists for Washington.
■ John Lucas scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter, Luol Deng had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls rallied to beat the host Toronto Raptors 94-82. Kyle Korver scored all 10 of his points in the fourth as the Bulls came back after trailing by 12 early in the second half.
■ Ryan Anderson hit seven three-pointers and scored 29 points, Dwight Howard added 28 points and 16 rebounds, and the host Orlando Magic held off the Phoenix Suns 103-93. Orlando led by 22 points before the Suns surged with under five minutes to play.
■ Rookie Klay Thompson scored a career-high 27 points, David Lee added 25 and the Golden State Warriors ended a four-game losing streak with a 101-92 win at the New Orleans Hornets.
■ All-Star point guard Tony Parker left the San Antonio Spurs' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with 8:03 remaining in the first half because of tightness in his left hamstring and did not return. The veteran guard is averaging 20 points and eight assists.
Ex-Cardinal Williams signs with Kings
The Sacramento Kings signed free agent and former Louisville standout Terrence Williams to a 10-day contract Wednesday. Williams averaged 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds for the Houston Rockets before being waived March 16. The New Jersey Nets drafted Williams 11th overall out of Louisville in 2009.
■ Derek Fisher signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The longtime Los Angeles Lakers point guard was traded to Houston last week but decided to buy out of his contract with the Rockets and seek somewhere else to play.
■ The Miami Heat signed veteran center Ronny Turiaf, who has missed much of this season with a broken left hand.
■ The Charlotte Bobcats waived veteran forward Boris Diaw, allowing him to sign with another team.
Carpenter has setback in recovery
Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter won't start opening day after a setback in his recovery from a bulging disk in his neck. The right-hander returned to St. Louis from spring training on Tuesday for tests. He threw live batting practice Sunday but didn't feel right the next day. "He looked really good and felt good; the next day he just didn't respond like we had hoped," Manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday. "His shoulder is just not responding and they're uncertain of the root of it. That's what they're trying to get to with tests on the neck and shoulder and trying to figure out where it's all coming from." Kyle Lohse will start April 4 at Miami in his place. Righty Lance Lynn, a setup man, will take Carpenter's spot in the rotation.
■ Felix Hernandez allowed seven earned runs over five innings in his final spring training start, and the Seattle Mariners were roughed up by the Chicago White Sox 13-8 Wednesday in Peoria, Ariz. King Felix's next start is scheduled to come March 28, when the Mariners open the season against Oakland in Tokyo.
■ Johan Santana cleared another hurdle in his comeback from shoulder surgery, pitching six innings in his longest outing of spring training in the New York Mets' 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla. "Today was a giant step forward," Manager Terry Collins said. Santana allowed a run on six hits with six strikeouts.
■ Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria will take a few days to consider his options after receiving a second opinion on his elbow injury. Soria has damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Cashman's alleged stalker indicted
A woman accused of shaking down New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman for $6,000 has been indicted, but the charges against her haven't been disclosed. Manhattan prosecutors said Wednesday that Louise Neathway had been indicted in the case concerning Cashman. The indictment won't be made public until she's arraigned next month. Neathway is jailed on $300,000 bond. She was arrested on charges including grand larceny and stalking.
Woods says Achilles is fine
Tiger Woods said he's "good to go" Wednesday on the eve of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his last tournament before the Masters. In his last official tournament, Woods played 11 holes in the final round at Doral before he withdrew because of tightness in the left Achilles tendon, the same one that forced him to miss two majors last year. "I've had tightness before, but not to that extent," Woods said. "But treatment afterwards always gets it right back to where it should be. And that's one of the reasons why I wasn't really that concerned about it, that I would come back and play these events." The Bay Hill field is stronger than expected, with Phil Mickelson, Doral winner Justin Rose, FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas and Graeme McDowell. The Masters begins April 5, when Woods will resume his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record for major victories.
Venus a winner in comeback
Venus Williams won in her first singles match since August, dispatching Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-0, 6-3 at the Sony Ericsson Open on Wednesday. The 31-year-old Williams withdrew from her second-round match against Sabine Lisicki at the U.S. Open after announcing she was diagnosed with the fatigue-causing, auto-immune disease known as Sjogren's Syndrome. "I mean, just to be in this tournament is a huge win for me," Williams said. Once a world No. 1 and a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, Williams is ranked No. 134. She's hoping to make her third U.S. Olympic team.
Speedway project ahead of schedule
With more asphalt and parking at Kentucky Speedway, track officials are promising there won't be a massive traffic jam like the one last year that wrecked the track's inaugural Sprint Cup Series race. "I guarantee there won't be the traffic issues like there were last year," Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said. "I think our fans ... are going to be pleasantly surprised that it doesn't take them that long to get here." A project to widen an exit ramp and a stretch of highway than runs past the track is ahead of schedule and should wrap up within a couple of weeks, said Robert Hans, a chief district engineer for the Kentucky Department of Highways.
The last word
Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim, when asked about his team's us-against-the-world mentality:
"I don't think it's the whole world. Three-quarters, maybe. I think there are some people in China that aren't upset with us."