The beginning of the game was tightly contested, as both teams came out with a lot of intensity. Carmelo Anthony was looking for his shot but couldn’t connect. He started the game 0-7 from the field, but managed to contribute with 5 early rebounds, and some defensive plays.
Despite Miami’s terrific defense, the Knicks managed to stay in the game during the first quarter. Miami went into the 2nd quarter with a 6 point lead.
With LeBron James on the bench the score remained very close, but it all changed when James stripped out of his overall to return to the game. LeBron drew charges and fouls, enchanting the Miami crowd. The Heat went on an unbelievable 24-2 run to finish the quarter. Miami’s defense started to wear on the Knicks, as they were clearly frustrated, and forced a lot of bad shots.
The complete momentum shift came when Tyson Chandler set a hard screen on LeBron, that led to a flagrant 1 foul. LeBron knocked down the free-throws, and knocked down a jumper on which he was fouled. James finished the quarter scoring 9 straight points for the Heat.
The Heat defense really showed in turnovers. as the Knicks committed 12 turnovers in the 2nd quarter.
James only took 7 shots in the first half, connecting on 6 of them. He got to the free throw line 14 times, while the Knicks collectively only managed to take 5 free-throw shots. James had 23 points in the half.
Miami started the 3rd quarter where they left off. James continued his terrific performance, as the Heat started the quarter on an 8-0 run. Knicks responded with a 9-0 run of their own, to cut the Miami lead down to 22.
Midway through the quarter Knicks’ rookie Iman Shumpert twisted his knee awkwardly on a crossover. It was clear he was in a lot of pain, as he was carried off the floor, screaming in agony. As Miami put the Big 5 (Big 3 + Miller and Haslem) on the floor, they continued to dominate the game on both ends of the floor, extending the lead to 34 points. To finish the quarter James beat the buzzer on a three point shot.
With the massive lead, James sat out the 4th quarter, and the Heat reserves finished the game. The final score was 100-67.
The key to the Heat victory was undoubtedly the defense. Knicks hardly took an uncontested jumper and had to work for everything.
James scored 32 points on 10-14 from the field in just 31 minutes of play. Wade shot an efficient 8-13, totaling 19 points.
Carmelo Anthony recorded a mere 11 points on 3-15 from the field. J.R. Smith scored 17, while Stoudemire was held to 9 points.
Miami committed 14 turnovers, and forced the Knicks to 24.