Knicks victory fuels hopes of Lin’s return


NEW YORK–The New York Knicks, which suffered three consecutive losses in the NBA playoffs, edged past the Miami Heat 89-87 on home turf Sunday to stay alive in the first-round series.

The hard-won win opened up a chance for Jeremy Lin, who is recovering from a left knee surgery in early April, to return to the court.

Led by star forward Carmelo Anthony who finished with 41 points, the Knicks also ended a record postseason 13 game losing streak since April 29, 2001.

The home team converted in the third quarter as injured Amar’e Stoudemire, who added 20 points, J.R. Smith, Mike Bibby and Anthony together rallied the Knicks to 64-61 into the final quarter.

Anthony’s three-pointer in the fourth quarter, followed by Stoudemire’s free throw with 14 seconds left, gave the Knicks a two-point lead. Dwyane Wade missed a three-pointer with two seconds left and the Knicks sealed the victory.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said after the game a decision on Lin’s return for Game 5 in Miami on Wednesday will be made Monday. The team lost starter Baron Davis after he injured his right kneecap during Game 4 and was expected to be out for the rest of the series.

“We’ll get back to the gym (Monday) and talk to the doctors and see where he (Lin) is and then make a decision,” Woodson said.

“I really don’t want to say I am or am not (returning). I just want to take it day by day. Game 4 doesn’t look great. Game 5, I have no idea,” Lin said.

Anthony also remained positive about teaming up again with the point guard that led the Knicks in a season’s high seven-game winning streak in February.

“Jeremy’s still part of this team,” Anthony said. “Although he’s injured right now, he’s still part of this team. I look forward to him coming back next season.”