The Miami Heat put a mediocre January behind them by beginning February with an impressive victory.
LeBron James scored 30 points with 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals to lead the Heat past the New York Knicks 106-91 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
The Heat, who went 8-6 during the year’s first month, were coming off a 17-point home loss in which they had squandered an 18-point lead against Oklahoma City.
Miami shot 53.9 percent (41 of 76), the fifth straight game shooting at least 50 percent, and won the battle of the boards 34-33.
Dwyane Wade contributed 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting for the Heat (33-13). He also had 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
Only three reserves played for the Heat before the game’s final minute. Ray Allen (3 points), Chris Andersen (10 points, 5 rebounds), and Norris Cole (9 points) were the only Miami subs to enter before garbage time.
Chris Bosh finished with just 4 points on 2-of-11 shooting but had 10 defensive rebounds. He and "Birdman" played simultaneous stretches to give New York some problems.
Carmelo Anthony’s 26 points led the Knicks (19-28), who also got 17 points from Tim Hardaway Jr.
Miami led by as many as 14 points in the first half, after which it led 53-46. James (15 points) and Battier (11, 3 of 4 treys) led the Heat’s first-half attack.
Bosh struggled in the first 24 minutes, scoring 2 points on 1-of-6 shooting. He missed three 3-point attempts.