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Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012
Felton, Knicks torch Heat from beyond 3-point arc
MIAMI — Another Knicks-Heat game, another 20-point Knicks win.
And if that isn't surprising enough, this one happened with Carmelo Anthony on the sideline.
Raymond Felton scored a season-high 27 points, and the Knicks connected on 18 3-pointers to more than offset the absence of Anthony while dominating Miami for the second time this season, beating the Heat 112-92 on Thursday night.
"It was fun. It was fun the whole game," Felton said. "Everybody contributed tonight. Everybody did something amazing. We played a great game minus our superstar."
Steve Novak scored 18 points, J.R. Smith added 13 and Tyson Chandler scored 13 for the Knicks, who won their fifth straight and moved 1½ games clear of Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference. New York made eight 3-pointers in the third quarter alone, the most by any NBA team in any quarter so far this season.
Anthony sat out, one night after needing five stitches to close a cut on the middle finger of his left hand.
"You've got a key guy that goes down and the other guys get an opportunity to play and step up and make plays," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I thought it was a total team effort from everybody across the board. I thought our defense was solid and then we kind of broke it open at the end."
LeBron James nearly picked up his second straight triple-double — 31 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists — in Miami's second straight loss, the first of those coming on the road against lowly Washington on Tuesday. Dwyane Wade scored 13 points, Chris Bosh had 12 and Udonis Haslem added 10 for the Heat, who fell to 8-1 at home.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra devoted most of his postgame remarks to the theme that the Heat had to "own" their shortcomings right now, and how they would be addressed starting in practice on Friday.
"We'll stay connected," Spoelstra said. "We're going to own this. We're not going to brush this off. And we're going to fix it."
James — who said the Knicks "smashed" the Heat — didn't wait that long. The league's reigning MVP worked out immediately after the game, sweating at his locker more than an hour after the final buzzer.
"I've got to be better. I've got to be better," James said. "It's that simple. So I'm here, and I'm the last one to leave."
Rasheed Wallace scored 12 and Jason Kidd added 11 points for New York, which finished 18-for-44 from 3-point range.
It was tied 53-53 at the half, and the third quarter changed everything for the Knicks. Kidd made a 3-pointer, Felton followed with consecutive 3s and New York was up by nine with 9:42 left in the period and the Heat seemed stunned.
The Knicks were only getting started.
In all, it was an eight-3-pointers-in-eight-minutes barrage that decided this one, with five different players getting in on the act for New York. Smith hit the last of them with 3:25 left in the third, and a pair of free throws by Chandler moments later gave New York — again, without its best player — an 18-point lead on the road against the reigning NBA champions.
Now losers of two straight, and having been beaten badly twice by the Knicks, the Heat know the outside "noise" — their word for the buzz that always seems to surround Miami — will start ramping up again.
"It's a little earlier than expected, but we knew there were going to be different challenges this year," Bosh said. "Controversy, adversity, whatever 'ersity' you want to use. We're smart. We're not joking ourselves. We're here."
Felton finished 10-for-20 from the floor, adding seven assists and four rebounds. He was 6-for-10 from beyond the arc, Novak was 4-for-9, while Smith and Kidd were each 3-for-8 from long range.
Miami had two field goals in the first seven minutes of the final quarter, and when New York decided to put it away, it was with 3-pointers, of course.
Mavericks 97, Suns 94
In Phoenix, O.J. Mayo scored 23 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 35 seconds to go, and Dallas held on to beat the hosts for the Suns' fifth loss in a row.
Brandan Wright and Darren Collison scored 16 apiece for the Mavericks. Wright's total was a season high. Chris Kaman added 15 points.
Markieff Morris had 15 points and a career-best 17 rebounds for Phoenix, which rallied from 15 down in the third quarter to tie it in the final minute.
Kaman (sprained ankle) and Shawn Marion (sprained knee) left the game with injuries for Dallas, as did P.J. Tucker (sprained knee) and Jermaine O'Neal (eye) for Phoenix.
The game was played on "money-back guarantee night," when those who bought a ticket could get their money back if they didn't have a good time. The Suns said it was the first promotion of its kind in the NBA.
Morris' 3-pointer cut the Mavs' lead to 87-85 with a minute to go, then Shannon Brown stole Collison's pass and was fouled. Brown made two free throws with 48.5 seconds left to tie it 87-87.
But with Sebastian Telfair guarding him closely, Mayo knocked down a 3.4-meter jumper to put the Mavericks back ahead for good.