HEAT 99 KNICKS 89| AMERICANAIRLINES ARENA
How it happened:
No Carmelo Anthony and the return of Dwyane Wade in Miami’s building. The mix of these three factors should have spelled doom for the traveling Knicks in search of a bounce-back performance after unexpectedly falling to Cleveland on Wednesday night.
The shorthanded Knicks put up quite a fight on Friday night but could not overcome a high-powered 17-7 run from 9:38 in the fourth quarter to the 2:35 mark. With the 99-89 victory, Miami improved to 14-5 while the Knicks fell to 7-12 on the season.
New York’s defense held a potent Heat team to five points below their season average but allowed 42 points in the paint in the loss. LeBron James and Wade combined for 59 of Miami’s 99 total points. For the Knicks, Bill Walker had an exceptional night with 21 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
The first half featured contrasting styles as the Knicks relied on three-point shooting in order to remain in the game while the Heat focused on jumping out on the fast break for highlight reel dunks. New York shot an impressive 10-for-23 behind the arc in the first 24 minutes behind Walker’s 12 points and four long bombs. The Knicks found themselves only facing a four-point deficit at the end of the half, due in large part to the incredible three-point shooting (10-for-23).
In the second half Stoudemire found his rhythm, finishing with 12 points and six boards on the night. Toney Douglas was crucial posting 16 points, Landry Fields added 14, and Tyson Chandler grabbed 12 boards.
Walker was fantastic behind the arc, hitting 7-of-10 shots including a stretch where he drilled three consecutive long bombs to start the third quarter. His overall performance was needed in place of Anthony at the small forward spot. Walker played 31 minutes and defended James for a majority of the contest.
News and Notes:
On Friday morning in Miami, the Knicks and Anthony decided that the best option was to provide some healing time for his ailing thumb, sprained left wrist and sprained right ankle. The All-Star will not play in Houston and is considered day-to-day from that point forward. With five days of rest, the team will re-evaluate the situation before Tuesday’s home game against the Pistons.
The Knicks will have little time to rest as they conclude their four-game road trip on Saturday night in Houston. Following the game in Miami, the team boarded a plane to Texas. The contest against the Rockets will mark the fourth game in five nights for New York.