After a dreadful first two months of the season, Woodson sounded
more like a doomsayer than a prophet as the Knicks and the Heat
headed in different directions. However, in the first meeting
between the teams this season, the mercurial Knicks turned back the
Heat 102-92 Thursday before 19,812 at Madison Square Garden.
New York (13-22) won its fourth game in five outings this month
after going 9-21 to close out 2013. The Knicks are a league-best 4-1
against the Heat in the regular season over the past two seasons.
Miami (27-9) won 11 of its previous 13 games.
Forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points, center Andrea
Bargnani added 19 points, and point guard Raymond Felton contributed
13 points and 14 assists.
Playing in his 800th NBA game, forward LeBron James led the Heat
with 32 points.
Woodson has utilized 13 starting lineups this season, and the Knicks
weren't at full strength again Thursday. Center Tyson Chandler was
out with the flu, and backup point guards Pablo Prigioni (leg) and
Beno Udrih (toe) were sidelined. Forward Amar'e Stoudemire provided
a lift off the bench, posting 14 points and 11 rebounds for his
first double-double of the season.
"It's been hard to judge us because I just have not had that core
group on the floor a long period of time, just to see where we are
as a ballclub and see how that supporting cast can really fit in,"
Woodson said. "We are starting to figure it out defensively a little
The Knicks started the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run to increase
their lead to 82-71 with 9:33 remaining. A jumper and layup from
Felton and a long 3-pointer from Anthony put the Knicks up 98-86
with 2:18 to play.
Miami scored just three baskets from the floor in the final 3:41 of
"Their defense stepped up, and we just didn't get to play our game,"
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They dominated in the paint
tonight. That's usually our style. You have to give them credit.
"The end of the third quarter and throughout the fourth quarter,
particularly defensively, there were lot of late rotations and loose
balls that kind broke the momentum."
[to top of second column]
Anthony scored eight points in the third quarter, draining
two of three 3-point attempts to help the Knicks take a 75-71
lead. Bargnani's three-point play tied it at 69-69. He followed
that with a short jumper, and then dunks from Stoudemire and
guard Tim Hardaway Jr. gave the Knicks a 75-69 cushion before
James scored on a layup for his 11th point of the quarter.
"We are starting to believe in one another again," Anthony said.
"We are starting to trust each other again and communicating
more on the court. We are putting complete games together now."
With James taking a breather, the Knicks opened the second
quarter on an 11-2 burst and led 32-29 with 9:02 left in the
half. When he returned, James played the role of the playmaker,
assisting on two 3-pointers from forward Rashard Lewis late in
the quarter, helping Miami to a 48-43 halftime edge.
James scored 11 points in the first quarter, mainly with his
mid-range jumper, as the Heat established a 27-21 advantage.
Felton did a nice job of distributing, handing out six assists
as the Knicks sank 10 shots.
"(The Knicks) played a great game," James said. "They made some
timely shots. I thought Raymond (Felton) played great defense
and did a good job of putting those guys in positions to
NOTES: Thursday was the first time this season the Knicks won a
game after trailing at the half. They were previously 0-17. ...
Knicks G J.R. Smith was fined $50,000 for "recurring instances
of unsportsmanlike conduct" for twice attempting to untie the
sneakers of an opponent in the Knicks' previous two games. Coach
Mike Woodson elected not to play him Thursday. ... The Knicks
play eight consecutive games at Madison Square Garden between
Jan. 17 and Feb. 1. ... Miami F Shane Battier missed his fourth
straight game due to a left quad strain. ... Knicks F Carmelo
Anthony averages 39.2 minutes per game, tops in the NBA. ...
Heat F LeBron James had a .589 field-goal percentage entering
the game, the best mark among league forwards. He hit 12 of 17
shots against New York. ... The Heat led the NBA in field-goal
percentage at .511 before Thursday's game. Miami shot .544
Thursday. ... Miami's second game of its six-game road trip is
against the Nets in Brooklyn on Friday. Players from both teams
will wear their nicknames on the back of their jerseys in that
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.