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Knicks get Heat's attention with one-sided win in Miami

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Maybe the rivalry is truly back.

A decade ago, the Miami Heat vs. the New York Knicks meant intense basketball between two elite teams. However, once the Knicks faded into mediocrity, the rivalry cooled.

On Thursday night, the Knicks made it two straight wins over the Heat this season, beating Miami 112-92.

The Knicks also handed Miami its first home loss of the season. The Heat had set a franchise record with eight straight home wins to start the season.

"We moved the basketball, and we made shots," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "It was beautiful to watch."

The Knicks beat the Heat by the same 20-points margin in the teams' only previous meeting this season, Nov. 2 in New York.

Thursday's result was the worst home loss in the Heat's LeBron James era, and the Knicks did it without their injured leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony.

Winning without Anthony was a positive sign for a New York team that wants was Miami has -- the NBA championship.

"That's an incredible team over there," Knicks center Tyson Chandler said of the Heat. "We're getting there, but they're the champs.

"Our GM and his staff did an excellent job this summer of giving us a chance, adding guys to this team who understand how to win. Last season, we didn't have enough to compete. But this season, I feel we can compete with anybody."

Knicks point guard Raymond Felton is one of those new additions. Playing Thursday with an injury to his heavily bandaged and bruised left hand, Felton scored a season-high 27 points and made a career-high six 3-pointers.

He made 10 of 20 shots overall, six of 10 on 3-point attempts, and added seven assists with just three turnovers.

"Felton's a tough kid," Woodson said. "It's going to take a lot to set him down. I thought he was hurt, but he refused to come out."

The Knicks improved to 14-4, the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat (12-5) is second in the East, but they have their first two-game losing streak of the season, including Tuesday's embarrassing 105-101 loss at Washington, which has the worst record in the NBA. The Wizards entered that game with only one win all season.

Asked if his team is angry, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra responded quickly.

"We're getting there," he said of the anger level. "We have a proud group of guys.

"We're going to own this. We're not going to brush this off. We're going to address it, and we're going to fix it."

The Heat's loss overshadowed another stellar performance by James, who fell just short of a triple-double, scoring 31 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out nine assists.

His fellow stars weren't nearly as good. Dwyane Wade was held to 13 points on 3-of-13 shooting, and Chris Bosh had 12 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Meanwhile, the Knicks made 18 3-pointers, shooting 40 percent from long range, and they turned the ball over just seven times to break a five-game losing streak in Miami. The previous Knicks win in AmericanAirlines Arena came in February 2011.

Anthony was hurt Wednesday night in a win over Charlotte. He needed five stitches to close a cut on his left middle finger, an injury he suffered while diving into his team's bench to retrieve a loose ball.

Anthony, who started every game this season until Thursday night, shot the ball in warm-ups but decided he could not play.

"He came to us and told us it didn't feel right," Woodson said. "This is a long season. One game is not going to determine our season."

Perhaps, but this one game -- beating the Heat in Miami -- was big for the Knicks' psyche. You can bet the Knicks now have the Heat's full attention.

"I've been telling people, the Knicks were going to be good," Bosh said. "Even the Knicks fans didn't believe me, but I was thinking about them all summer because I know they were thinking about us.

"I felt like the Knicks were going to challenge us. They are motivated. It's going to be a battle every time we play them. The rivalry is back."

NOTES: In Wednesday's win over Charlotte, Knicks guard Jason Kidd -- fresh off of having missed four games due to a back injury -- came off the bench for the first time since 2004. On Thursday, Kidd was back in the starting lineup, and he contributed 11 points, including three 3-pointers, and four assists. ... Knicks reserve J.R. Smith said his game-winning shot to beat Charlotte was the first of his career, even dating back to high school. On Thursday, though, Smith was hit with a first-quarter technical for arguing a call. He finished with 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting. ... Heat forward Udonis Haslem, the franchise's all-time leader in rebounds, made his first start of the season Thursday. He replaced Rashard Lewis, who had started the past three games in place of injured Shane Battier (knee). Haslem, who had 10 points and 7 rebounds, is also playing hurt. He left Tuesday's Wizards game with a hip-pointer injury that he re-aggravated after taking a knee to the inflamed area. Battier played as a reserve Thursday, going scoreless in eight minutes. ... Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, who has started every game this season, was in the opening lineup despite an injury to his left ring finger. He scored seven points. ... Heat backup point guard Norris Cole, who missed the Wizards game due to a groin injury, was back in action Thursday. He went scoreless in 15 minutes. ... Next up for the Knicks is a trip to Chicago for Saturday's game against the Bulls. After the Bulls, the Knicks' perfect home record will be at stake against Carmelo Anthony's former team, the Denver Nuggets. ... The Heat continues its six-game homestand Saturday against New Orleans.
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