Last night, both the New York Knicks (21-37) and the Brooklyn Nets (27-29) had nationally televised games. New York traveled to Miami to take on their rivals, the Heat (41-14); and Brooklyn traveled to Denver to take on the Nuggets (25-32).
New York, who has been struggling in the month of February, tried to get their season back on track; but failed miserably. Miami, who have been hot as of late, took care of business and throttled the Knicks 108-82. With this loss, New York is now on a 4-game losing streak and their playoff hopes seem to be slipping away.
Miami opened up the 2nd quarter on a 15-5 run to take a 43-27 lead with 6:05 remaining. The Knicks began the quarter lethargically, but they began to pick up the pace afterwards.
Following that run by the Heat, the Knicks responded with a 12-4 run of their own. Carmelo Anthony got into the groove and scored 11 of the Knicks 12 points during that run. Anthony scored a total of 16 points in the 2nd quarter.
With less than 20 seconds left, Anthony grabbed the offensive board off of a Tim Hardaway Jr. miss and put it back in to cut the lead to three; but at the buzzer, Shane Battier found Lebron James off the inbounds pass for a lay-up. Miami went into the break with a 55-50 lead.
In the 1st half, the Knicks dominated the offensive boards 10-0; but they couldn’t convert a lot of their second chance opportunities. The Knicks only had seven second chance points.
Anthony led the Knicks with 24 points and 6 rebounds, and Dwayne Wade led the Heat with 15 points at the half.
At 9:19 in the 3rd, Pablo Prigioni fed Tyson Chandler in transition for the dunk. At that moment, the Knicks were behind 61-59 -- that’s as close as the Knicks would get.
After that basket, the Heat closed the quarter on a 26-5 run. Lebron James helped propel the Heat with 12 points scored in the 3rd. The Heat finished the game shooting an extremely efficient 61%.
The Knicks are now 5.5 games out of the final spot in the playoffs, and they finished the month of February with a 2-10 record.
Key Stats: Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points and 7 rebounds. Tyson Chandler had a double-double, 19 points and 16 rebounds. J.R. Smith finished with 11 points and 5 assists.
Lebron James led the Heat with 31 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Dwayne Wade finished with 23 points. Mario Chalmers scored 11 points. Norris Cole and Ray Allen both had 11 points off the bench.
Key Notes: Lebron James started after missing one game due to a broken nose. James wore a black protective mask which made him look like a superhero. Iman Shumpert and Kenyon Martin are out for the Knicks with injuries. Shannon Brown and Earl Clark both had their debuts for the Knicks.
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