After suffering their worst loss of the season Wednesday night, the Miami Heat needed a chance to redeem themselves and show what they were capable of. They got that chance under the largest lights in the league Friday night and smashed Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Miami rode a large 47-29 second half, team-spirited rout to disassemble the Knicks. However, that second half fury wasn't there to start the game. In fact, Miami looked a bit lackadaisical in the beginning. They needed guys to step up and create the energy.
So Dwyane Wade started the night with a vintage, euro-step dunk in the first quarter. Moments later, he made a putback shot while getting fouled and knocked down the free throw. Wade played with great finesse to open the game and energized the Heat early, which is precisely what the team needed. Anthony had his way on the other side of the court early on, scoring 11 points to give the Knicks a 27-26 lead after one.
New York attempted to gain ground in the second while the Heat searched for offensive with Wade on the bench. Chris Bosh stepped up to the challenge. The 6'11 power forward found his groove, connecting on jumpers inside and outside of the three-point line for 16 points in the quarter. Despite Bosh's power play in the second, Wade was the story of the half with a beautiful crossover and score that had Langston Galloway on the floor and the Heat bench in complete elation. The Heat led 50-49 at half-time.
The "Hall of Famers" Wade and Bosh -- as Gerald Green referenced them -- motivated him to get into a rhythm and find his range. Green, who took over the starting duties in Luol Deng's absence, torched the Knicks in the second half.
Green and Wade took turns scoring throughout the third, both having eight a piece in the quarter. While the two combo guards got it done on offense, Hassan Whiteside got it done on defense, blocking a couple of shots and preventing the Knicks from getting involved in the paint. The trio help extend the one point half-time lead to an 11 point lead at the end of the third.
Although Green already placed his imprint on the game in the third, he didn't allow it to make him in complacent heading into the fourth. In less than five minutes, Green had caught fire, scoring 12 points off dunks, three-pointers and jump-shots. More than that, it was the defense he conducted on Carmelo Anthony, alongside Justice Winslow. The two of them held Anthony scoreless after the first quarter, holding him to 11 points, his lowest since opening night. Whiteside blocked a few more shots, pumping his total up to six. Winslow caused a few more disturbances with his defense and got a crafty layup to fall in transition, as the Miami Heat put the final touches on a large 97-78 win in the Garden.
Green finished with 25 points (20 in the second half), his best game of the season and one he needed after his two game suspension a couple weeks ago. Bosh added 20 points and 5 rebounds. Wade bounced back from his 2-point game against the Pistons and had 17 points and 5 rebounds. Whiteside, the Heat's defensive anchor, racked up 14 rebounds and blocked away 6 shots. His defensive in addition to others is what really held the Knicks to just 29 points in the second half and 78 on the game.
The Heat have now beaten the Knicks twice in the same week with an average of 18 points per game.
The Heat have the weekend off. They'll return home and face the Boston Celtics on Monday at 7:30 PM.