The starters total of 10 assists was almost matched by Frank Ntilikina‘s total of 9 all by himself, and as a team the Knicks 33 assists lead to 18 made triples, while the Heat’s 20 helpers yielded only 7 treys.
The Heat briefly lead 10-8 on a Hassan Whiteside jumper after 3:24 minutes of play, but the Knicks scored 10 unanswered points and the rout was on.
The first quarter ended with New York up 34-23, which they extended to a 63-50 half-time edge.
Miami got to within 10 points in the third quarter, 69-59, but never had winning quarter in the game.
Goran Dragic lead all Heat scorers with a paltry 15 points, followed by Whiteside’s 14 points, while Miami’s starting small forward, Josh Richardson, scored two points, in 19 minutes of action, from the foul line.
The story for Miami was a hero ball mentality on offense and defense, as the likes of Damyean Dotson scored 30 points, Luke Kornet 17, Trey Burke 17, Kyle O’Quinn 14.
On the hustle side, O’Quinn pulled down 14 rebounds and Dotson had 11 boards, while Whiteside lead all Heat players garnering 6 rebounds in 18 minutes.
98 points should enough to secure a victory for the Miami Heat, but when player’s egos outstrip their talent level, the team breaks down into unorganized efforts on defense and offense, as the Knicks got quality open looks for 3-point baskets time and time again.
Thank goodness none of post-season games will be in New York, as the regular season road tips have ended with an 18-23 record away from home, but the playoffs start with Miami as the visiting team.
Fortunately the Heat has clinched a playoff berth, so the question becomes who will be their first round opponent.
After the drubbing at the hands of the New York Knicks, does it matter who they face next weekend?