New York outscored Miami 37-22 in the second quarter to take a 59-45 halftime lead. There were points during the quarter that it looked as if Knickerbockers were toying with the Heat. They shot a staggering 12-15 from the field in the second, and made the Heat's vaunted defense look like a ghost.
However, the Knicks came out flat to start the second half and wasted a chance to make a big statement to the NBA . Miami outscored New York 54-34 in the second half, and ended New York's three game winning streak with a 99-93 victory at the Garden on Sunday afternoon.
"Your not going to slow those guys down," said Mike Woodson. "I thought our defense, in the first half, was as good as it has been all year. The second half they got layups. They made some jump shots but it was the layups that cost us."
Miami's big 3 of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh combined to score 46 points in the second half on 19-34 shooting. The majority of those points came in within 10 feet of the basket, while the Knickerbockers shot a cold 31 percent from the field.
Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points for the Knicks, and scored 13 of those from the free throw line on 14 attempts. However, Anthony went silent when the team needed him the most. He managed just 1 field goal attempt and zero points the last 6:50 minutes of the game.
"They made adjustments," said Anthony. " We can't beat anyone when we score 34 points in a half-it's not going to happen.. A couple of possessions towards the end of the game, a few turnovers, you can't turn it over against Miami. They capitalize off guys mistakes and they did that coming down the stretch."
New York had eight turnovers in the second half as opposed to Miami's two.
Jason Kidd bounced back from a bad slump with one of his best games of the season. He emerged with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Kidd was in a terrible shooting slump but ended it with 4-5 shooting from three point range. He was the big catalyst in the big second quarter for the Knicks, but admits that it wasted chance for the team.
"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."
JR Smith may have had the roughest night of all. He was miserable from beyond the arc missing 11 of 14 and went 1-for-8 in the fourth quarter. He did manage to grab 10+ rebounds for the second game in a row with 12, but made some costly mistakes down the stretch.
"I am extremely disappointed. We played well for the whole game," said Smith. The turnovers killed, my three especially."
Smith’s biggest mistake may have been his miss on a pull up from 3 after the Knicks got a defensive stop on a James miss trailing 93-91 with 1:45 to go. It was only less than 10 seconds after the missed shot and a time that Anthony should have control of the ball. Smith's miss led to a James layup that put the Heat up by four.
"He has to mix it up," said Woodson. "That is something he and I will talk about. When your not making your threes you have to get something close or get to the free-throw line. He makes a lot of them but tonight he didn't."