Heat 101, Knicks 83


MIAMI (AP) – Playing without their two All-Stars, the Miami Heat scored a franchise-record 27 consecutive points Monday night and beat the New York Knicks 101-83.

Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal watched from the bench as Miami raced to a 29-3 lead after 8 minutes. The Knicks missed 10 consecutive shots as their 3-2 lead became a 26-point deficit, while the Heat started 13-for-19 and outscored New York 14-0 in the paint at the outset.

Miami did it with a makeshift lineup. Wade decided shortly before the game to rest the left ankle he sprained Sunday in a loss to Dallas, and O’Neal missed his 35th consecutive game as he nears a return from knee surgery.

“We just wanted to come out and try to get as many easy shots as we could,” said Miami’s Jason Williams, who scored 20 points. “It’s always tough without D-Wade and Shaq, but the NBA’s not going to give us a break.”

The Knicks cut the deficit to 15 points by halftime and briefly to six in the fourth quarter. Williams sank a pair of 26-footers late to prevent a collapse by Miami.

Jason Kapono fueled the Heat’s early run and scored 22 points. Udonis Haslem added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Payton had 13 assists, his highest total since joining the Heat in 2005.

Eddy Curry scored 26 points and Jamal Crawford 23 for the Knicks, who trailed by 28 after one quarter – the second-largest such deficit in franchise history.

New York’s Stephon Marbury sat out the second half because of a sore left knee.

The Knicks’ past three games had been decided at the finish, but not this one. Kapono’s third 3-pointer of the opening period put them behind 21-3, and Haslem’s short jumper made it 29-3 before Curry’s layup ended the Heat run.

The crowd offered a mock cheer for New York’s first basket in more than eight minutes.

The Heat kept hitting: Williams sank a 3-pointer with two seconds left to put them ahead 40-12 after one period. The point total was the highest in a quarter this season for the defending NBA champions.

The only larger deficit for the Knicks after one quarter was on Feb. 20, 1980, when they fell behind Indiana 42-12, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Haslem, who missed his first eight shots Sunday, went 6-for-6 in the period.

New York cut the deficit to 48-30, then 56-41 at halftime. The Heat committed turnovers on four of their first six possessions of the final quarter, and Crawford’s basket cut the margin to 79-70.

Curry’s three-point play made it 79-73 with 8:10 left, but the Knicks got no closer. Williams sank back-to-back 3-pointers, and Antoine Walker made another for a 94-79 lead.

Notes: The Heat broke the franchise record of 26 consecutive points set against Golden State on March 24, 1995. … Miami tied a franchise record for field goals in a quarter with 17 in the first. … The Heat played home games on back-to-back nights for the first time since February 2004 and the 10th time in franchise history. … The Knicks fell to 2-24 when trailing at halftime.

AP-ES-01-22-07 2151EST