After a stressful and emotional week in New York City due to the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy, the city was in need of a huge pick-me-up. The Knicks were more than happy to abide. In front of an emotional crowd in Madison Square Garden, the Knicks defeated the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat by a score of 104-84. It was the home and season opener for the Knicks, after what was supposed to be their first game agains the Brooklyn Nets Thursday night was postponed. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points and 10 rebounds while the Heat were led by LeBron James’ 23 points along with seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
[tabs tab1="First Quarter Recap" tab2="Second Quarter Recap" tab3="Third Quarter Recap" tab4="Fourth Quarter Recap"]
[tab]After the two teams split the first four buckets of the game for a 4-4 tie, the Knicks never looked back. A 15-4 run gave the Knicks a 19-8 lead. After missing his first two attempts of the night, Anthony went off. He scored 16 points in the first quarter, making six of his next eight attempts, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. One of those treys was an absolute bomb from 26 feet away coming off a feed from Pablo Prigioni on a fast break to give the Knicks a 30-15 lead. The other came as time expired and with Udonis Haslem draped all over him to extend the lead to 33-17. The Knicks defense was also fantastic, holding the Heat to 37%.[/tab]
[tab]The Heat finally showed up for the game in the second quarter, scoring 27 points on 75% shooting while holding the Knicks to 31% shooting. Dwayne Wade scored 13 points in the quarter on a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor. However, seven Heat turnovers and eight offensive rebounds (four by Tyson Chandler) helped the Knicks not let the game get away from them. Despite the cold shooting, they still scored 22 in the quarter and took a 55-44 lead into halftime.[/tab]
The almost certain Heat run to get them back into the game never materialized. After a slow shooting start by both teams to open up the second half, the Knicks went on a 20-8 run to extend their lead to 75-52. After Anthony’s three-point show in the first quarter, it was now Steve Novak’s time to show off. He scored nine points on 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Neither team was exactly shooting the lights out in the quarter (Heat 35%, Knicks 38%). However, six Knick three-pointers compared to three for the Heat and six Heat turnovers compared to just two for the Knicks helped them outscore Miami 26-19 in the quarter and take a 81-63 lead into the fourth quarter.
[tab]Miami began the fourth quarter on a 14-6 run, cutting the deficit to 13 but that was as close as they would get. A Raymond Felton trey and three free throws by Jason Kidd (fouled on a missed three-point attempt) extended the Knicks lead to 19. A Mario Chalmers jumper cut the lead to 17 before another Novak three put the last nail in the Heat’s coffin. Down 96-76 with 4:53 remaining in the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra sat his two stars (James and Wade) for the rest of the game, essentially waiving the white flag. With 3:06 remaining, the Knicks showed off their new victory cigar. With the crowd chanting, “WE WANT SHEED!”, Coach Mike Woodson walked over to Rasheed Wallace, asked him if he wanted to play and inserted the un-retired big man, sending the Garden crowd into a frenzy. To make the night even better, Wallace ended the Knicks scoring, hitting one of his patented three-pointers to make the score 104-84.[/tab]
- The Knicks shot an absurd 53% from beyond the arc (19-for-36), led by Novak’s 5-for-8 performance. In last season’s five-game playoff series vs the Heat, Novak made a total of four three-pointers on seven attempts. Five Knicks (Anthony, Novak, Felton, Kidd, J.R. Smith) hit multiple three-pointers.
- The Knicks starting backcourt of Kidd and Ronnie Brewer had fine games in their Knicks debut. Kidd was 3-for-5 from the field (all beyond the arc) and 3-for-3 from the free throw line for 12 points along with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Brewer scored seven points on 3-for-7 shooting along with five rebounds and three assists. The two combined for a +/- of +20.
- After his 6-for-10 first quarter, Anthony shot just 4-for-18 the rest of the way. However, he went 6-for-7 from the free throw line (all after the first quarter) and his defense on LeBron James was a huge factor in the Knicks win.
- Felton, in his return to the Knicks, almost had himself a double-double (19 points, nine assists). He did have three turnovers and at times forced some shots, but overall did a fine job managing the Knicks offense. He was exceptionally well when the Heat attempted to double team him off pick-and-rolls, continually splitting the Miami defense and getting into the paint.
The Knicks will host divisional foes, the Philadelphia 76ers, on Sunday in the first of a home-and-home back-to-back. Tip off is at noon.