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James, Heat finally beat Anthony, Knicks
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 3, 2013 @ 4:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK — Neither the New York Knicks nor the Miami Heat wanted to place too much importance on a regular-season game.
“We don’t any more importance on one game than the other. … We’re trying to improve and get ready for the second season,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said prior to the game.
But there were implications for both teams in the microcosm of an 82-game season. The Heat entered the game on 13-game winning streak, one shy of tying the franchise record. They also were 0-2 against the Knicks this season.
With that all well known, Miami defeated New York 99-93 in a Sunday afternoon matinee contest at Madison Square Garden with another start-studded crowd in attendance, including a nice musical contingent: Phil Collins, Derek Trucks and Redfoo of LMFAO.
The Knicks entered with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference but recently lost four consecutive games, slipping out of first- or second-place in the Eastern Conference for the first time this season. Since an 18-5 start, the Knicks have played just over .500 basketball.
Spoelstra said the Heat looked forward to the game after the Knicks “kicked our butts twice.”
After a slow start, the Heat took care of the Knicks.
It was part sloppy, part spectacular and all competitive — a potential preview of an Eastern Conference playoffs matchup.
Heat forward LeBron James, who took a nasty-looking fall on an alley-oop attempt and appeared to have hurt is left knee, finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Miami guard Dwyane Wade added 20 points, eight assists and eight rebounds as his strong but under-the-radar play continued. Forward Shane Battier added 12 points — all on three-pointers, and center Chris Bosh awoke from a first-half slumber and scored 14 of 16 points in second half.
The Heat overcame a dreadful second quarter in which the Knicks outscored them 37-22 and took a 59-45 lead into halftime.
Coming off Friday’s 98-91 victory against Memphis — which Spoelstra called one of Miami’s best wins this season — the Heat were not at the top of their game Sunday, especially defensively in the first half.
But they recovered in the … [For more on LeBron James, Heat finally beat Carmelo Anthony, Knicks, click here.]
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