KNICKS 104 HEAT 84 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
A new-look Madison Square Garden, a strong fan base battling the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and a New York Friday night set the stage for an impressive104-84 victory for the Knicks over the defending champs.
Carmelo Anthony set the tone early with 16 first quarter points and four long bombs to provide New York with a 16-point first quarter advantage. He finished with a game-high 30 points and snatched 10 boards in his 2012-13 debut.
The veteran Knicks outran the young Miami crew and punished them with terrific ball movement throughout the first half. Matching the Heat’s small-ball lineup, New York featured Jason Kidd in the starting lineup at the shooting guard spot next to Raymond Felton in the backcourt. Ronnie Brewer started at small forward, Anthony shifted to the 4, and of course Tyson Chandler anchored the paint.
As Miami attempted a comeback in the third period, the Knicks hit critical 3-pointers to hold off a team that blew out Boston in its season opener. This was evident at an essential moment in the game when Kurt Thomas hit Pablo Prigioni streaking in the lane and the newcomer snapped a no-look dime to Steve Novak in the corner. Novak’s 3-pointer extended New York’s lead to 23 points with 3:11 left in the third quarter and the home team never looked back.
After struggling against the Heat in the playoffs last year, Steve Novak posted 17 points in 26 minutes. Chandler scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Felton dished out nine assists in the win.
“I think we controlled the tempo of the game. We were able to get back in transition and hold them to half court sets. We were able to dictate where they took their shots from.” – Tyson Chandler.
Anthony played like a true superstar tonight in leading his squad past a formidable Miami crew. The All-Star scored his 30 points on 10-of-28 shooting from the floor, 4-of-8 at the 3-point line, and 6-of-7 at the charity stripe. He also recorded two steals to lift New York to a 1-0 record.
The Knicks absolutely blitzed Miami by drilling 19-of-36 shots from downtown. Oddly enough, New York actually finished with a higher percentage behind the arc (52.8) than the field (42.9).
The Knicks will take advantage of a practice day in New York on Saturday while preparing for a matchup against Philadelphia. The second contest of the season will take place at Madison Square Garden with the Knicks looking for another division win on Sunday afternoon.