For Noah, 31, it almost seemed like a public form of therapy. Nobody groaned when he missed. Nobody complained about his contract. Several fans who arrived early even voiced their support. After cramming nearly 150 shot attempts into 19 minutes, he departed for the locker room.
The game provided more good vibes for Noah, a rare occurrence this season. In a semitriumphant return to Coach Jeff Hornacek’s rotation, Noah collected 11 points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks outlasted the Pacers for a 118-111 victory. In 35 minutes of action, Noah rummaged for loose balls, pounded his chest and reveled in an evening free of misery.
“I think everyone’s been waiting for him to play like that,” shooting guard Courtney Lee said. “I think he’s been waiting to play like that.”
Lee added: “Everybody in this locker room believes in…