By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
KNICKS 102, HEAT 92 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it Happened:
The Knicks have won four of five games in the year 2014, but none bigger than this one. Behind another stellar performance from Carmelo Anthony (29 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists), New York made a statement at home by beating the defending-champion Miami Heat, 102-92.
Even with Tyson Chandler sidelined for another night with his upper respiratory infection, the Orange and Blue persevered for a total team effort to keep momentum building.
A competitive first half saw Miami take a 48-43 lead, but continuing a recent trend, the Knicks blitzed the Heat in the 3rd quarter, led by Iman Shumpert, who caught fire from downtown, draining three of his four long balls. Shump's contributions proved invaluable as New York outscored Miami, 32-23, and stretched a 16-2 run into the 4th quarter to put the game out of Miami's reach.
Every time Miami made a run, the Knicks had an answer. Amar'e Stoudemire battled down low, finishing with a workmanlike 14 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. In his second game back in the lineup, Raymond Felton directed the charge, dishing out 14 assists to go with his 13 points.
Andrea Bargnani had himself a quiet 19 points on 13 shots, but perhaps his most essential contribution to the win came on some late positions where he managed to stay in front of LeBron James driving to the hoop.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony, once again, rose to the occasion to lead the Knicks to the win. Facing off with former Olympic teammates James, Wade and Bosh, he pulled out a gritty performance by doing whatever his team needed.
The Knicks will have the day off tomorrow before heading to Philadelphia to battle stud rookie Michael Carter-Williams and the 76ers on Saturday night.