By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
HEAT 106, KNICKS 91 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it Happened:
Against the defending-champion Heat, who were coming off an embarrassing 17-point loss in their previous game, the Knicks' four-game winning streak came to an end tonight.
It remained close most of the way, but ultimately Miami's ability to get quality looks near the basket proved too much to overcome. The Heat outscored New York in the paint, 48-30, and shot 54% from the field in the win.
The Knicks welcomed back Amar'e Stoudemire, who knocked down the only shot he took in five minutes, but Coach Mike Woodson's team continued to be carried by its perimeter stars. Carmelo Anthony turned up the scoring in the second half, leading New York with 26 points to go with eight rebounds.
J.R. Smith continued his strong play, scoring 20 points on 11 shots in his second consecutive start. He also did an admirable job guarding LeBron James, especially early on, as the Knicks opened up with the small lineup that had been so effective recently.
Once again, Tim Hardaway Jr. was locked in from deep, knocking down three 3s on his way to 17 points.
Knick of the Night:
Melo had to work for his buckets, but he battled and got to the line 13 times. His effort on the boards helped the Knicks hang with Miami (34-33), one of the the league's best rebounding teams.
The Knicks' eight-game homestand came to an end tonight, and they'll head to Milwaukee tomorrow to face the Bucks on Monday.