MIAMI (AP) – Relying entirely on jumpers, Carmelo Anthony tied his career high with 50 points and the New York Knicks won their ninth straight game, topping the injury-depleted Miami Heat 102-90 on Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
It was only Miami’s second loss in 31 games, after losing to the Bulls 97-101 on March 27 in Chicago.
Anthony finished 18 of 26 from the field, taking two dribbles to free himself from Shane Battier and make his last shot with 16.9 seconds remaining. It was the third time he scored 50 in his career and it came with Miami’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers all sidelined by injuries. Anthony made his first seven shots and the fact that he had 37 points before notching any other statistic of note – no rebounds, assists, steals or blocked shots until the third quarter – let everyone in the building know that he was all about a scoring spree.
Chris Bosh scored 23 points for Miami, who beat San Antonio on Sunday without James, Wade and Chalmers but managed only 32 second-half points against the Knicks.
Mike Miller scored 18, Ray Allen finished with 16 and Norris Cole had 14 for the Heat, whose 17-game home winning streak was snapped.
The Knicks beat the Heat in three of their four regular-season matchups. They likely would not meet again before the Eastern Conference finals.
Miami’s magic number for clinching home-court throughout the NBA playoffs remained at five and the Heat already have the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference wrapped up.
The Heat will face the Bobcats in Charlotte at 8 p.m. Friday, April 5, followed by home games against Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday and Milwaukee on Tuesday, and then travel to Washington to take on the Wizards on Wednesday.