The Miami Heat’s hopes of securing a spot in the postseason this year continue to build up with a with a road win against the New York Knicks. As for the Knickerbockers, they get eliminated from playoff contention with the loss to Miami.
Knicks Kept Within Reach in First Half but Showed Struggles
Despite New York outshooting their opponents in the first quarter with a 45 percentage, several flaws prevented them from taking the lead. The Knicks committed six turnovers and went three minutes in the period without scoring a single point. Miami’s defense was on point since the beginning and they recorded four steals while also going on a 7-0 run during the period. They outscored the Knicks 24-22. In the second stanza of the game, the Heat’s shooting percentage went up to 45 percent while they also shot 50 percent from downtown. They expanded their lead 49-41.
Anthony Gets First Points of Night Late in the Game
Carmelo Anthony went scoreless in the first half for the first time since 2012. He recorded his first three points in the third frame and accumulated seven total for the period.
Heat Dominate Second Half
Miami scored 28 points in both the third and fourth quarter. After leading by nine points at the end of the third frame, they started the final 12 minutes with a 11-2 run and never looked back. The Heat came out in the second half like a team that did not play on a back-to-back. Meanwhile, New York seemed like a team playing only for more lottery balls.
Goran Dragic recorded 20 points, nine assists and seven boards. Josh Richardson notched 17 points and five steals. James Johnson scored 18 points while Hassan Whiteside added 11 points to go along with nine rebounds.
New York Knicks
Kristaps Porzingis lead the team with 20 points, eight boards and three blocks. Willy Hernangomez tallied 12 points and nine rebounds while Courtney Lee chipped in 10 points.
Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek and Porzingis responded to being eliminated from playoff contention during the post game interviews. Hornacek said “I think today was mathematically [eliminated]. But the writing was on the wall prior to this.”
Porzingis followed up with “We knew that it was going to be really tough to get in that last playoff spot. We now have try to keep our heads up and play good basketball these last few games.”
Other Things To Note
-Derrick Rose did not play due to sore left knee injury.
-Joakim Noah started his twenty game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy. He will miss the last seven games and the first 12 games of next season.
-For Miami, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow and Josh McRoberts were all out dealing with injuries.
-The '83-84 Knicks team was honored at MSG while Knicks legend and the team’s broadcaster Walt Frazier celebrated his 72nd birthday.
-The Heat started the game 11-30 and since then have gone 26-8.
-The Heat went up 1 and ½ games ahead of the Chicago Bulls and one game ahead the Indiana Pacers for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference.
-In their first meeting of the season on Dec. 6, the New York Knicks took the win with a 114-103 victory. Anthony scored 35 points in that game.
-New York still continues to seek back-to-back wins. The last time they won two straight games happened on Dec. 20-22.
Tonight was the first of a home-and-home series. Both teams will meet again in the American Airlines Arena on Friday, Mar. 31st at 8:00 p.m. E.T.