Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire needs surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss six weeks, a stunning blow to the team as it chases the Atlantic Division title. Stoudemire, who had been playing well off the bench, will have the procedure to remove tissue within the week, the Knicks said Saturday before their game against the Jazz. Stoudemire missed the first 30 games after having the same surgery, called a debridement, on his left knee during preseason. He returned on New Year’s Day and has averaged 14.2 points in 29 games. The Stoudemire news was a surprise, since there was no indication there had been any problem with his surgically repaired knees until Saturday morning. Stoudemire didn’t take part in the shootaround, and had an MRI later in the day . . . The Mavericks waived guard Dominique Jones, a former first-round draft choice who was in his third season with Dallas.
Messi extends record scoring streak
Lionel Messi extended his Spanish league record by scoring in his 17th straight game to cap host Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna. Messi started on the bench with several other top players — being saved for Tuesday’s decisive Champions League last-16 match against AC Milan — but went on in the second half and scored. It was the four-time world player of the year’s league-leading 40th goal of the season and 51st overall . . . Carlos Tevez put Manchester City on the road to Wembley with an FA Cup hat trick in London, two days after being arrested for a driving offense. The Argentine forward also had two assists as City routed Barnsley, 5-0, to reach the semifinals.
Hear the Ghost wins San Felipe Stakes
Hear the Ghost rallied to run down Flashback and Goldencents in the stretch and win the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes by a half-length at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., inserting himself into the Kentucky Derby picture. Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Hear the Ghost covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.34 and paid $13.80, $4.60, and $3.60 at 5-1 odds in the field of eight 3-year-olds. Flashback, the even-money favorite trained by Bob Baffert, returned $2.60 and $2.40. Tiz a Minister paid $4 to show . . . With John Velazquez aboard, favorite Verrazano cruised to a win in the Grade II $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby. The undefeated 3-year-old passed Falling Sky near the half-mile mark and coasted to the victory over Java’s War. Velazquez rode five winners Saturday, becoming the seventh jockey to accomplish that feat at the track . . . Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned stumbled and dumped jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. coming out of the starting gate, then led the field to the finish line in the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap won by Discreet Dancer in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Hernandez wasn’t hurt in the mishap.
Hopkins is oldest champion — again
Bernard Hopkins, 48, became boxing’s oldest world champion for the second time, winning the IBF light heavyweight title with a unanimous decision against 31-year-old Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs). Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) had been the sport’s oldest champion when he beat Jean Pascal two years ago before losing the title to Chad Dawson . . . Roger Federer beat Denis Istomin, 6-2, 6-3, in their second-round tennis match at the BNP Paribas Open championships in Indian Wells, Calif. Also, Lleyton Hewitt upset John Isner, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-4; Kevin Anderson ousted David Ferrer, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3; and women’s top seed and reigning champion Victoria Azarenka beat two-time champion Daniela Hantuchova, 6-4, 6-1 . . . The Calgary Flames activated center Mikael Backlund from injured reserve and sent left wing Sven Baertschi to their AHL Abbotsford affiliate. Backlund was out a month with a sprained knee.