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Anthony's 30 points lead Knicks past Heat

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- For all their questions about age and possible distractions in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks could not have had a better season opener.

Anthony scored 30 points and the Knicks led wire-to-wire in a 104-84 victory over the Miami Heat on Friday night.

"It was kind of up and down," Anthony said of the team's mindset after the severe storm. "Over the last couple of days we didn't know if the game was going to be played. Then before the game, we looked up and saw that they cancelled the marathon. We had to go out there and play. Today was something to give New Yorkers a couple hours of peace to come to the game and support us. We gave them a good show tonight, that's the least we could do."

Steve Novak added 17 off the bench while Raymond Felton chipped in 14. Jason Kidd contributed 12 and three assists in his Knicks debut while J.R. Smith added 11.

"I didn't know what to expect," Novak said. "We left today at 3 today from the practice facility not knowing what to expect, how long it would take to get here. We weren't sure if it was going to be sold out or a few people. We were hoping it would be a ton of people, but in my mind when we stepped on the court I was knew a game we could not give 100 percent. We felt we couldn't lose this game, it was too important."

"Before the game it was difficult because we were in the locker room and I think everyone has the hurricane on their mind and everything the city is going through," New York center Tyson Chandler said. "Then as we were going out onto the floor we were like 'look, we're here, our friends are here'. The thing we can do is put a smile on their faces and represent the city well.

The Knicks won in spite of shooting 43 percent. They were able to score 100 points against the Heat for the first time in 16 games by dominating from beyond the arc.

Anthony had four 3-pointers while shooting 10 of 28 overall. The Knicks shot 19 of 36 overall from long range, outscoring Miami by a whopping 57-21 margin and coming within one of tying their all-time record.

Coming off an impressive 120-107 season-opening win against the Boston Celtics, the Heat struggled to sustain any consistent offensive cohesiveness despite shooting a respectable 46.5 percent LeBron James led the Heat with 23 points while Dwyane Wade added 15.

"The Knicks had energy, disposition and quickness to the ball on both ends of the court," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They played very good basketball and got us on our heels pretty much the whole game and we weren't able to recover from there."

The Knicks were originally slated to open the season Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets in the initial game at the Barclays Center. That game was postponed until Nov. 26 and the Knicks had an extra day of practice and seeing the sights of devastation motivated the veteran team even more going into their first game against Miami since the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

"It's devastating," Kidd said. "People have no food, no electricity, no food, so for two hours to give people an opportunity not to think about it, that was our job tonight and hopefully we did a good job."

Many thought Friday's game should have been postponed due to lack of good transit but the renovated building saw the Knicks' 21st straight opening night sellout and fans enjoyed what they saw against the defending champions.

"The atmosphere was great," Wade said. "We didn't know how many people would be here, but it was great and the Knicks fed off that and it was an emotional kind of game for some people and for the city."

"They played well," James said. "They fed off not only the city, the fans (and) everything that's been going on and it's a good win for them."

The Knicks led by as many as 23 during the second half and took an 81-63 lead into the fourth after hitting six more 3-pointers. They were slightly threatened when Wade's reverse layup made it a 13-point game with 7 minutes left but Felton buried another 3-pointer and Chris Bosh fired an air-ball three on Miami's next possession and the Knicks never were challenged again.

The Knicks led 33-17 after shooting 62 percent in the opening quarter and took a 55-44 edge into halftime as Anthony scored 20 points on 7-of-19 shooting.

Anthony was the focal point during the dominating open quarter as he scored 16 points, with eight coming during a 14-5 spurt that ended the period. His display was highlighted by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

Miami made a small dent into the Knicks' lead as Wade scored 11 of his 13 points in the second quarter while making all six of his field goal attempts. James was quiet in the second quarter as he took just three shots and went into the break with 14 points.

The Heat was also plagued by turnovers as it had 12 in the first half, four more than Tuesday's season-opening win against Boston. It also played a majority of the first half without point guard Mario Chalmers, who picked up two early fouls.

Notes: Wade said he was planning on contributing to the relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy by giving his game check of over $200,000 to the cause. "I just felt there were bigger things to be concerned about than us being here to play a basketball game," he said before the game. "Obviously sports is things that takes people's minds away from things, but you know, I think there's bigger things that need to be done here in the city." ... Knicks forward Kurt Thomas appeared in his first game for the team since April 20, 2005. He was the oldest Knick to suit up in a regular season game since current assistant Herb Williams (41 years, 2 months and 16 days) on May 2, 1999. ... Center Marcus Camby, who has been battling a calf injury in preseason, did not play. Coach Mike Woodson said he practiced well during the week but decided to hold Camby out due to his lack of contact in drills. Woodson also addressed playing despite the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and took the diplomatic approach by saying: "I have no control over that. The league decided to play the game and we have to play."
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