Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire is expected to miss the start of the regular season and be out 2-3 weeks because of an injured left knee. He returned to New York on Sunday for anevaluation, and an MRI revealed a ruptured benign cyst. Stoudemire played in only one preseason game, sitting out the first two with a bruised left knee . . . Six months after he had surgery for a herniated disk, All-Star center Dwight Howard had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks in his debut with the Lakers, a 99-92 preseason loss to the Kings in Los Angeles . . . Tamika Catchings scored 25 points as the Indiana Fever won their first WNBA title with an 87-78 victory over the visiting Minnesota Lynx. Catchings, who was MVP of the finals, averaged 24.8 points in the series, which the Fever won, 3-1, over the defending champions. Lindsay Whalen scored 22 points and Maya Moore 16 for the Lynx . . . Minnesota assistant coach Saul Smith, son of head coach Tubby Smith, was placed on indefinite unpaid leave by the university after his arrest Saturday in Minneapolis on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.