NEW YORK -- So this is what Amar'e Stoudemire can do when he gets to play all four quarters.
Returning to play the final quarter after the Nets wiped away the Knicks' 16-point halftime lead, Stoudemire scored 10 in the period, helping New York pull out its preseason home finale. He added 11 rebounds and made 16-of-19 free throws in 37 minutes, raising his average to 26 points per game.
"I think we only have a few games left so we're trying to get acclimated to how we're going to play in the regular season," Stoudemire said. "So I think my time's going to be ramping up here in the next few games."
Actually, he's scheduled to get a night off Wednesday when the Knicks visit Philadelphia for the second of a back-to-back. He already had a pair of 30-point games in his first preseason in New York, despite not playing the final period of either.
Stoudemire surpassed LeBron James, who finished with 33 for Miami a night earlier, and Detroit's Rodney Stuckey, who had 34 earlier Tuesday against Washington. Stoudemire came within a point of becoming the first player since Carmelo Anthony with 40 in an exhibition game. Anthony scored 45 on Oct. 11, 2009, for Denver against Indiana, according to STATS LLC.
"He's a great player. He's a max contract player," Nets coach Avery Johnson. "When you're a max contract guy, you know, he plays like it. He's tough. The Knicks got themselves a good one. He's a dominant player and tough to handle."
Toney Douglas added 24 points and Raymond Felton added 13 points and 11 assists for the Knicks.
Jordan Farmar had 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Nets, who had a much shorter road trip for this game, needing only to go across the Hudson River after playing their last two in China.
They nearly pulled it out, closing to one point in the final minute before Douglas made a 3-pointer for a 115-111 lead with 35.5 seconds left, then came up with a steal on the next possession and made two free throws.
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Brook Lopez added 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Nets returned home Sunday morning after a weeklong trip to Russia and then China, where they played two exhibition games against the Houston Rockets. Johnson said practice Monday was cut short because the energy was low, and they didn't hold shootaround Tuesday so players could further catch up on rest.
"We're not going to use it as an excuse, but it's something that we're dealing with and I'm curious to see how they're going to play tonight," Johnson said before the game.
They had no problem early, outworking the Knicks on the boards and taking a 26-24 lead after one while outrebounding New York 18-8. But the Nets couldn't keep up when the Knicks started running late in the second.
New York led by four when Douglas re-entered with 4:54 remaining. He and Felton sparked a 21-9 run to end the half, often finding Stoudemire in transition, as the Knicks took a 65-49 lead at the break.
Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni liked the way his two point guards played together.
"Looks good," he said. "Gives us a lot more speed."
The Nets stormed right back, outscoring the Knicks 32-15 in the third to take an 81-80 lead to the final period.
Stoudemire came in averaging 22.8 points, second in preseason play to Anthony's 24.3. D'Antoni said his All-Star forward probably wouldn't play Wednesday at Philadelphia in second game of back-to-back, unless he really wanted to play.
The Nets exercised their fourth-year option on Lopez's contract and the third-year option on guard Terrence Williams earlier Tuesday. Lopez will earn $3.0 million in 2011-12, while Williams will get $2.3 million. ... The Knicks aren't back at Madison Square Garden again until hosting Portland on Oct. 30 in their home opener.