KNICKS 102 HEAT 90 | AMERICANAIRLINES ARENA
How it happened:
With the Heat’s superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in street clothes for the final matchup between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, Carmelo Anthony stole the show in Miami.
Anthony walked the red carpet to a tune of 50 points, carrying his Knicks squad to a 102-90 victory -- their ninth straight. New York also captured the season series over the defending champs, 3 to 1.
Despite missing James, Wade, and Mario Chalmers, the Heat showed up for a title fight and even led by eight points at halftime. Miami only trailed by two points at the 5:22 mark of the fourth quarter after Anthony scored 15 of the Knicks 28 points in the third period.
Anthony nailed a 3-pointer with three minutes left in the contest, Tyson Chandler swatted Chris Bosh, and J.R. Smith buried a long ball as part of a crucial 9-0 run for the road team. Chandler returned from a 10-game absence for his first action since suffering from a neck injury.
Anthony closed the curtains several minutes later with another shot from downtown and New York improved on its league-leading winning streak.
The Heat placed Udonis Haslem on Anthony for most of the contest. This strategy was completely ineffective as the Knicks All-Star torched him 1-on-1 or when Haslem would leave him to help on the penetrating player for New York.
Shane Battier also tried to slow down the red-hot Anthony, but the Knicks leading scorer was simply too much for the East’s top team.
Smith added 14 points off the bench and Felton dropped 10 points and nine assists. For Miami, Bosh finished with 23 points and Mike Miller scored 18 of his points, all in the first half.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony is the obvious choice here. The Knicks forward turned in a ridiculous box score by hitting 18-of-26 shots from the floor, 7-of-10 behind the arc, and tying a career-high 50 points. He managed this prolific performance in just 40 minutes of action.
Knicks are now 21 games over .500 for the first time since 1996-97. Tonight’s road win is the 20th of the season, the first time they've done that since 1996-97. The Knicks' nine consecutive wins make it the longest streak since 1993-94.
Both teams were hot from the field and the 3-point line. New York hit 51.9 percent from the arc, Miami was 40 percent, and both squads shot over 50 percent for the night.
The Knicks jumped on a plane to Atlanta for a back-to-back contest against the Hawks on Wednesday night.