The New York Knicks understood that this game could be their final of the season and the players were clearly focused on the task at hand. The Knicks did not win the first two games in Miami, with the first one being a blow-out and the other one being fairly close.
The Knicks did open the game very well and their stars started the game by hitting their shots. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire were getting to the rim and the Knicks held an early 6-2 lead.
The Knicks continued to shoot the ball well and players other than Anthony and Stoudemire were contributing. Mike Bibby gave the Knicks some great shooting and with the lack of point guards on the team, New York needed solid play from him.
However, Carmelo Anthony picked up his second personal foul in the first quarter and the Knicks were forced to sub him out the game. The Knicks came into the game short-handed and they did not have a lot of options on the bench to fill the void.
After 12 minutes of play, the Knicks faced a 28-24 hole after the Heat finished the period on a 14-4 run. Mike Bibby led the Knicks in scoring with eight points, while Anthony had seven and Stoudemire had four.
In the second quarter the Heat used the momentum it created in the first period to open up a lead. Wade and Bosh attacked the basket and their ability to finish in the paint was key in their surge. On top of that, Miami was getting key offensive rebounds and the Knicks had trouble finishing off defensive plays. With 5:26 to play in the half, the Heat was up 42-34.
The Knicks cut into the lead as the quarter progressed, but their poor end to the half allowed the Heat to go up 11, 55-44. Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 15 points, followed by Bibby with eight.
In the third quarter, the Knicks were getting the shots they wanted but their energy on the defensive end was essentially non-existent. New York could not get stops on the defensive end and when the Heat did miss, the Knicks had trouble rebounding the ball.
As the quarter progressed, the Knicks relied too much on the isolation play and that ruined their offensive slow. The ball movement was not there and the offense was very stagnant. Anthony was doing whatever he could to create offense, but at times struggled to score.
At the end of three quarter, the Knicks were down 81-67.
The Knicks could not muster enough in the fourth quarter to beat the Heat and their late rally was not enough to regain the lead. Carmelo Anthony was doing the best he could to keep his Knicks in the game, but as the final buzzer rang New York lost, 106-94. Anthony finished the game with 35 points, but that was not enough to overcome the Heat.