GAME 2: MIAMI 104 KNICKS 94 | AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA
How it happened:
Carmelo Anthony decided within 26 seconds that he was going to have an impact on Game 2. The All-Star scored on his first attempt from the floor on Monday night after a 0-7 start to Saturday’s contest. New York jumped on Anthony’s back in the first quarter as he scored 15 of the team’s 24 points, trailing by three points heading into the second frame.
In comparison to Saturday, Anthony moved all over the floor to find open space. Late in the first quarter, he drilled a baseline face-up jumper over Shane Battier and then on the opposite side of the court, he buried a 20-footer. Towards the end of the first 12 minutes, Anthony slipped a screen and pounded a one-handed dunk over Joel Anthony.
Dwyane Wade was equally as impressive, considering he scored 11 first quarter points in less than eight minutes of action and on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor. Miami shot 60 percent from the floor while riding Wade’s offensive attack.
Landry Fields was called on to defend Wade in the absence of New York’s best on-ball defender, Iman Shumpert. The rookie suffered a torn ACL and lateral meniscus in the Saturday loss, leaving the Knicks thin at the guard positions. Baron Davis started but was limited due to his back issues and veteran guard Mike Bibby earned most of the minutes at the point guard spot.
New York opened the second quarter on a tear. Nearly 100 percent after dealing with flu-like symptoms, Tyson Chandler smashed a one-handed putback dunk over Mike Miller. Steve Novak sunk a 3-pointer and then Chandler flushed an alley-oop in the midst of a 7-0 run and the Knicks led 31-29 with 9:34 left in the half.
Miami fought back and put together an 8-2 run of its own to get the White Hot Heat crowd back into the game. Wade dished to LeBron James in the open floor for a thunderous finish above the rim and James hit a layup on the following play. Anthony concluded the first half with an isolation off the dribble bucket past James. New York faced a 53-47 deficit heading into the locker room despite Anthony’s marvelous 21-point effort.
The Knicks made a couple of runs in the second half and even cut the lead to just five points after Davis connected on a 3-pointer at the 3:36 mark of the third quarter. Just when New York seemed to gain momentum, James, Wade, and even Mario Chalmers hit timely shots to keep the Heat’s advantage hovering around double digit points.
Miami’s balanced attack of Wade, Chris Bosh, and James combined for 65 points. New York’s Big Three of Anthony, Stoudemire, and Chandler combined for 61 points. The Heat shot 52.1 percent from the floor while the Knicks hit 49.4 percent in the 104-94 Game 2 defeat.
Anthony was visibly exhausted after registering 45 minutes of game action. The New York small forward shot 12-of-26 from the field and was 6-of-9 at the charity stripe. In an impressive bounce back performance, Anthony also snatched nine boards.
With the return of Chandler, New York won the battle on the glass 40-33 and edged Miami in second chance points 10-9. However, the Heat flourished in the paint by outscoring the Knicks 50-38.
State of the Series:
The Heat took care of business at home and will travel to New York with a 2-0 series lead. Game 3 in Miami will take place on Thursday night and Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
After four days in downtown Miami, the Knicks jumped on a plane to New York and will practice on Tuesday and Wednesday at Madison Square Garden Training Center.