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The Knicks' Big Three shine in their Garden debut

Howie Evans | 12/30/2011, 4:15 p.m.

There they were, basking in the limelight, soaking up the love coming from loud and adoring fans who smelled early-season blood.

Fans are hoping their Big Three of Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and the new kid on the block, Tyson Chandler, will lead them to the cherished NBA stop of Playoff Land. They showed much promise on Christmas Day, giving their fans a 106-104 season-opening win. The house was filled with celebrities, some of whom didn't get seated in those cherished spots on the floor.

The Big Three played the opening game as if it were an NBA final. Hard-nosed basketball from Chandler (6) and Stoudemire (2) had a block party at the front of the rim. Anthony shot the lights out for 37 points and Stoudemire netted 21, for a two-teammate splurge of 58 points. Chandler, not hardly missing Dallas, where he finally won a ring, closed up shop at the front of the rim for six different knocks on the door.

And there was the "Rook"-hardly playing like one-Iman Shumpert, showing that when he returns from a sprained knee injury, someone is going to have give up some big minutes. Yeah! It was Christmas Day and the Knicks gave out 19,763 gifts to all their holiday fans.