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Balanced effort gives Heat 95-78 victory over Knicks

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The Heat's balanced scoring and minute distribution helped them get a big lead over the Knicks and keep it.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat got off to a slow start in the first quarter against the New York Knicks. It was their 7th straight home game, and last before leaving for the road, so maybe they were comfortable. They quickly took control of the game at the end of the first quarter after being tied at 19.

Before you knew it, they were up 22 points at halftime and kept a double digit lead for the rest of the game. The Heat won the game 95-78. It was their 7th straight victory over the Knicks and improved to 9-4, second best record in the Eastern Conference. They ended the Knicks four game win streak, and looked impressive as they did it.

It was a balanced effort from the Heat, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh led the Heat with 16 points each. Goran Dragic (13), Tyler Johnson (12), and Hassan Whiteside (11), all contributed with double digits for Miami who only shot 38% in the win. Whiteside also had 11 rebounds and 5 blocks.

It was the Heat's bench that made the biggest impact on the game. All four bench players scored and posted at least a +16 to +28 for the game. The Heat had 30 bench points to the Knicks 10. The Heat had great ball movement most of the night. Bosh really struggled from the floor, but they played a really good game. The first half was pretty flawless outside the first few minutes. The Knicks tried to make a few runs throughout the second half, but never got closer than 12.

The Heat had more rebound, steals, assists and blocks than the Knicks. Also, they only had 9 turnovers for the game, which is great considering they had 8 in the first quarter a few days ago against the Sixers.

"We never want teams to get comfortable...we've been doing a really good job since training camp of buying into the defensive system." -- Chris Bosh

Rookie Kristaps Porzingis had 20 points and 14 rebounds in the loss, and Carmelo Anthony had 21 points. The Knicks only shot 32% and were 4-24 from downtown. Justise Winslow had 7 points and 6 rebounds and even guarded the 7'3" Porzingis on several plays.

I've never seena 19 year-old so mature...He was picking things up we haven't even gone over yet -Chris Bosh on Justise Winslow

The Heat had a few highlight plays. One of which was a chase down block by Justise Winslow. That was later replicated by Tyler Johnson. Johnson also had a nice put back dunk, and as always Wade had a few smooth moves. The game was very physical on the inside, which is something to note because the Heat will be playing in New York on Friday night for a rematch.