8:00 PM ET, December 6, 2012
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
And if that isn't surprising enough, this one happened with Carmelo Anthony on the sideline.
More on Knicks-Heat
The new-look Knicks are showing that there's not much distance at all between them and the Heat at this stage of the season, Michael Wallace writes. Daily Dime
After the Heat's second early-season loss to the Knicks, LeBron James took it upon himself to light a fire under his teammates, Brian Windhorst writes. Story
Carmelo Anthony sat out Thursday, so Raymond Felton led a shooting onslaught that gave the Knicks another win over the defending champs, Jared Zwerling writes. Blog
Raymond Felton scored a season-high 27 points, and the Knicks connected on 18 3-pointers to more than offset the absence of Anthony while dominating Miami for the second time this season, beating the Heat 112-92 on Thursday night.
"It was fun. It was fun the whole game," Felton said. "Everybody contributed tonight. Everybody did something amazing. We played a great game minus our superstar."
Steve Novak scored 18 points, J.R. Smith added 13 and Tyson Chandler scored 13 for the Knicks, who won their fifth straight and moved 1 1/2 games clear of Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks made eight 3-pointers in the third quarter alone, the most by any NBA team in any quarter so far this season.
Anthony sat out, one night after needing five stitches to close a cut on the middle finger of his left hand.
"You've got a key guy that goes down and the other guys get an opportunity to play and step up and make plays," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I thought it was a total team effort from everybody across the board. I thought our defense was solid and then we kind of broke it open at the end."
LeBron James nearly picked up his second straight triple-double -- 31 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists -- in Miami's second straight loss, the first of those coming on the road against lowly Washington on Tuesday. Dwyane Wade scored 13 points, Chris Bosh had 12 and Udonis Haslem added 10 for the Heat, who fell to 8-1 at home.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra devoted most of his postgame remarks to the theme that Miami has to "own" its shortcomings right now, and how they would be addressed starting in practice on Friday.
"We'll stay connected," Spoelstra said. "We're going to own this. We're not going to brush this off. And we're going to fix it."
New Beasts of the East?
The Knicks struggled mightily last season against the Heat. This season? In two games, New York has had its way with the reigning NBA champions, winning again Thursday night even without Carmelo Anthony. Here's a look:
|3-pt. FG pct.||37.8||46.3*|
|* 37 for 80|
-- ESPN Stats & Information
James -- who said the Knicks "smashed" the Heat -- didn't wait that long. The league's reigning MVP worked out immediately after the game, sweating at his locker more than an hour after the final buzzer.
"I've got to be better. I've got to be better," James said. "It's that simple. So I'm here, and I'm the last one to leave."
It was tied at 53 at the half, and the third quarter changed everything for the Knicks. Kidd made a 3-pointer, Felton followed with consecutive 3s and New York was up by nine with 9:42 left in the period and the Heat seemed stunned.
New York was only getting started.
In all, it was an eight-3-pointers-in-eight-minutes barrage that decided this one, with five different players getting in on the act for the Knicks. Smith hit the last of them with 3:25 left in the third, and a pair of free throws by Chandler moments later gave New York -- again, without its best player -- an 18-point lead on the road against the reigning NBA champions.
Now losers of two straight, and having been beaten badly twice by the Knicks, the Heat know the outside "noise" -- their word for the buzz that always seems to surround Miami -- will start ramping up again.
"It's a little earlier than expected, but we knew there were going to be different challenges this year," Bosh said. "Controversy, adversity, whatever 'ersity' you want to use. We're smart. We're not joking ourselves. We're here."
There was one run late in the third, a 13-3 burst by Miami that got the Heat within eight in the final seconds of the quarter. It was the last -- and really, the only -- gasp for Miami, as the Knicks just kept firing away in the fourth.
"We understood it was a 10-point game and we had to make our move," Novak said. "We've got a few stops and hit a bunch of shots. That was really the key for us -- hitting those shots and being aggressive."
Felton finished 10 of 20 from the floor, adding seven assists and four rebounds. He was 6 of 10 from beyond the arc, Novak was 4 of 9, while Smith and Kidd were each 3 of 8 from long range.
Miami had two field goals in the first seven minutes of the final quarter, and when New York decided to put it away, it was with 3-pointers, of course. Novak made one for a 100-84 lead, another to stretch the margin to 19 and then Chandler got all alone for a dunk to push the lead to 109-88 and send most of the building's occupants to the exits.
Smith hit a 3-pointer with 3:04 left to play, gestured toward the Heat bench, and the benches were cleared for subs moments later.
"We'll be fine. We'll be fine," James said. "But we can't act like what happened tonight or in Washington or some of the games that we even won that we probably shouldn't have won, we can't act like, 'OK, we made those things happen.' We haven't played like we're capable of playing."
Haslem started and made his first five shots, his first 10-point first half since March 2010. ... Anthony warmed up before the game, but seemed to have trouble catching passes. ... It was Miami's first home loss since Game 5 of last season's Eastern Conference finals. ... Miami had 14 turnovers, twice as many as the Knicks.
Next 5 Games
The Knicks won by 20 despite being outscored 17-2 in fast-break points. Two of the last three teams to win by 20+ points with 2 fast-break points or fewer have been the Knicks. They also did it last season against the Magic.[+]
Fewest Fast-break PPG
From Elias: The Knicks made 18 3-pointers against the Heat Thursday after making 19 in their previous meeting on November 2. It's the first time in NBA history that a team made 18+ 3-pt FG in each of 2 straight games vs 1 team.
From Elias: Since 2000, there have been 4 teams to record a pair of 20-point wins vs the defending NBA champs -- and TWICE it has been the Knicks against the Heat. They had a pair of 20-point wins vs the Heat in the 2006-07 season as well. The Heat are on the bad side of this list 3 times....[+]
Teams With Multiple 20-Point Wins - Against Defending NBA Champion Since 2000
Tonight's 20-point home loss to the Knicks is the Heat's worst home loss in games with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all playing. Previously, their worst home loss with the "Big 3" was a 16-point loss to the Pacers on November 22, 2010. Tonight's loss was only their fourth double-digit home loss and 13th home loss overall with all 3 players playing.[+]
Worst Home Losses by Heat - With James/Wade/Bosh All Playing
Dwyane Wade went 3-13 and had 4 turnovers in this game... his plus-minus rating in this game was the worst of his 10-year career, as the Heat were outscored by an enormous 33 points while D-Wade was on the floor...[+]
Dwyane Wade Worst +/- In a Game - NBA Career
Fixes Heat FG pct vs Rest of NBA from 49.9 to 49.4. The Heat have lost both meetings against the Knicks this season by an average of 20 points. Against the rest of the NBA, Miami is 12-3. shooting just under 50 percent from the field.[+]
ESPN Stats & Information