[Miami, FL] Around a month ago, if you looked at the Miami Heat’s schedule and you saw the New York Knicks on it, you would think it was just another game.
But, around 3 weeks ago, when Jeremy Lin hit the NBA spotlight, everyone was hyping up the Knicks’ trip to Miami to face the stiffest competition in the league. Would “Linsanity” reign supreme over the firepower and defensive prowess of the Big 3?
Or would the Heat – holders of the best record in the NBA – dominate as they have throughout the month of February?
And on Thursday night, it showed why everyone was worked up – it was a close game … in the beginning.
In the first quarter, both teams kept going back and forth, not giving up an inch on defense. LeBron James scored 6 points and dished out 3 assists. Lin struggled early, mostly due to the defense of Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole.
Coming into the game, neither Chalmers nor Cole had a dunk all season. In the first half, they both got dunks off of steals from Lin. At the end of one, the Miami Heat were up 24-20.
It was raining 3-pointers and dunks in the second for Miami. Still, the Knicks were able to keep pace with the Heat. Amar’e Stoudemire scored 6 points and Carmelo Anthony scored 5 points in the quarter. The Heat’s points came from both the Big 3 as well as the supporting cast.
Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade rocks the rim
Dwyane Wade, James and the Heat were able to increase the lead into double digits in the 3rd quarter. D-Wade scored 8 points and LeBron scored 6 points. Battier also hit a big 3-pointer to put the Heat up by 15. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Heat were up 80-66.
The closest the Knicks got to the Heat in the fourth was 9 points. But the Heat didn’t let up at all they kept pushing as they have done in the fourth quarter over the past 8 or so games. The final score was Miami Heat 102, New York Knicks 88.
Chris Bosh scored 25 points and collected 8 rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 22 and LeBron scored 20 points. Mario Chalmers really buckled down on defense against Jeremy Lin, only allowing him to make 1 out 11 shots, for only 8 points.
“First of all he deserves all the credit he’s been given,” Wade said about Jeremy Lin. “Our point guards did a great job tonight. We put a lot of pressure on him.”
“This has been about a three-week push for us and it’s a good way to end before the break,” Spoelstra said. “I think everyone in that locker room needs a handful of days.”
By: Michael Tristani II/Sunshine Slate
Lead image: Miami Heat/Mike Ehrmann/NBAE/Getty Images