Page last updated on Mon Mar 30 00:28:32 EDT 2015
03/04/2013 12:18 PM EST
Heat rally past Knicks, win 14th straight

AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- LeBron James stretched his arm above the rim,
soaring high on a shaky knee and turning his steal into a
finishing dunk as Carmelo Anthony hung his head near midcourt.

The Heat took the Knicks' best shot, but it wasn't good enough
to beat the defending champs.

Nothing is right now.

James had 29 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and Miami
tied a franchise record with its 14th straight victory, rallying
for a 99-93 victory at New York on Sunday.

"We feel like this is one of our better wins of the season, even
under the circumstances that we went through tonight, a little
adversity being down double digits," James said.

Dwyane Wade added 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists
for the Heat, who had to overcome a 16-point deficit to beat the
Knicks for the first time in three tries this season. Chris Bosh
bounced back from a dismal first half to finish with 16 points
and Shane Battier hit all four 3-point attempts to score 12.

The Heat won their sixth straight on the road by controlling the
final minutes against a team that had a pair of 20-point
victories over them this season and looked ready to run them out
of the building again.

But James shook off a third-quarter leg injury and was back in
top form by the finish, putting it away by coming up with a
steal and throwing down a dunk with 23 seconds left.

"Obviously, it's great to win games, period. But when you're on
a win streak, you've got to find many different ways to win
ballgames and we've had comebacks in the last seconds, we've had
double-overtime games, but this was probably the most thrilling
one," Wade said. "It was the most challenging. For a team who
beat us twice, they handled us twice and they were up 16 in the
first half, for us to have the resilience to come back, find a
way fight out this win, it was great."

Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points for the Knicks, who had won
three in a row. Jason Kidd emerged from a lengthy slump to
finish with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. J.R.
Smith had 13 points and 12 rebounds, but shot 5 of 18 from the

"I think we are disappointed because we had an opportunity to
win a ballgame here at home against the champs," Kidd said. "So
it's something we can look at and get better at with those
mistakes, especially later in the game."

The Heat matched their 14 straight wins during the 2004-05
season and finally beat one of their closest pursuers in the
Eastern Conference after dropping their first four against the
Knicks and Indiana Pacers.

James landed awkwardly when he was fouled trying to catch a lob
pass in the third quarter and was trying afterward to loosen his
left knee or leg. He looked fine in the closing minutes, making
key plays on both ends of the floor.

"His motor is limitless. I don't want to take that for granted.
I don't just want to assume that he can play 40-plus minutes,
but he had to do it on both ends," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra
said. "Couldn't get him out in the fourth quarter and if I would
have tried, he probably would have strangled me.

"He was strong and was at his strongest after 40 minutes of

Bosh tied it at 87 and Wade's basket with 4:29 left gave Miami
the lead for good. James then blocked Tyson Chandler at the rim
and hustled down the floor to put back a Miami miss, making it

The Knicks twice were within two, but James scored on a drive
the second time. Bosh followed with a jumper for a 97-91
advantage, and after two free throws by Raymond Felton, James
ended the Knicks' final hopes when he stepped in front of a pass
headed toward Anthony and broke in alone for the slam.

"They kind of walked us down towards the end," Anthony said. "We
made some mistakes, turned the ball over, and then that turnover
was probably just the icing on the cake right there."

James said he felt the knee a little bit during the game, but
expected to be in uniform Monday at Minnesota.

The Knicks beat Miami here by 20 in their season opener and won
again in Miami in early December by 20, even while playing
without Anthony because of a cut on his finger that required

This looked headed for another blowout.

Kidd missed his 14 3-point attempts in the last three games and
had been in a 7-for-49 slump behind the arc since Feb. 1,
finally losing his starting job before Friday's victory at

But he made a 3 early in the second quarter, then hit three more
in the period. The Knicks rattled off eight points in a row to
make it 59-43, their only concern coming when Anthony went to
the locker room before the half ended with what the team said
was pain in his ribs. He was back when the second half started
and said the injury didn't bother him.

The Knicks' two victories over the Heat came during their 18-5
start, when they seemed championship capable. But they are just
17-16 since, and Miami's a far different team now than it was in

Bosh had eight quick points in the third quarter after a
two-point, 1-of-6 first half. Miami scored the last six of the
period, cutting it to 77-73 on Battier's 3-pointer with 1.8
seconds to go.

Miami finally caught up at 79-all when James nailed his second
straight 3-pointer, stomping his feet forcefully as he walked
away following the second with 10:04 to play.

NOTES: Juwan Howard was inactive, a day after the Heat re-signed
the 40-year-old forward who finished last season with them. "To
be honest, it felt a little bit strange not having him with us,"
Spoelstra said. "It makes sense, it feels right." ... Knicks
coach Mike Woodson said forward Kenyon Martin will be with the
Knicks beyond the expiration of his first 10-day contract.


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