Heat 111, Knicks 98
NEW YORK (AP)
Dwyane Wade was hurt, and even a little scared. He has injured his right wrist before and is always concerned when it's in pain.
But when the Heat medical staff wanted to take X-rays after Wade's first-half fall?
Not a chance. Not when playoff seeding is at stake.
``I was the doctor on that one,'' Wade said. ``I decided against it.''
Wade shook off the pain to score 32 points and Miami pulled into a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 111-98 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday night.
Michael Beasley added 16 points, and Udonis Haslem and former Knicks forward Quentin Richardson had 14 apiece for the Heat, who won for the 10th time in 11 games and joined the Milwaukee Bucks at 45-35. They hit 26 of 42 shots (62 percent) across the middle two quarters to build a comfortable lead after a slow start.
The Heat put six players in double figures and got some well-timed spurts from Wade late in each of the last three quarters to keep extending their lead.
``When we did go through a little offensive drought or whatever you want to call it, he stepped up and made plays,'' Haslem said. ``Got to the rim, made some and-1s, got to the free throw line, kind of slowed the game down, gave us a chance to catch our breath.''
Wade's wrist was completely wrapped in ice after the game. He hurt the wrist in a hard fall during the 2006 world championships and a few times since, but won't stop the fearless drives to the basket like the one on the last play of the first half that caused Sunday's injury.
``That's his nature,'' Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.
David Lee scored 26 points and Danilo Gallinari had 19 for the Knicks, who lost their third straight and dropped all three meetings to the Heat this season.
``They did some different things. They went to a zone there for a while that slowed us down in the third quarter,'' Lee said. ``What they did, they made us instead of getting stuff out of the pick-and-roll, they made us switch to shooting outside jump shots. Our shots weren't falling as well as they have been.''
The Heat's push for fifth stalled Friday with a home loss to Detroit that snapped their nine-game winning streak, but they bounced back with their seventh straight road victory, fourth-best in franchise history.
Milwaukee holds the tiebreaker after going 3-1 against Miami, but the Heat have the easier remaining schedule. They go to Philadelphia on Monday before hosting NBA-worst New Jersey on Wednesday, while the Bucks face playoff-bound teams Atlanta at home on Monday and the Celtics in Boston to end the regular season Wednesday.
Wade always hurts the Knicks: His 28.8 points per game in 16 previous games against them was his fourth best against an opponent. He had a few good flurries, but didn't have to be spectacular because so many teammates had good nights.
Carlos Arroyo and Dorell Wright finished with 12 points and Miami shot 52 percent.
``They just wore us down after a while,'' Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. ``Guys came in off the bench and played well for them, especially Haslem and Wright and we just didn't have that little extra pop.''
New York still was within single digits midway through the final quarter before Wade turned it on, spinning in a reverse layup and converting a three-point play among his nine points that put it away.
The Knicks shot 56 percent and got 10 points from Lee in taking a 29-24 lead after one quarter. Wade missed six of his seven attempts in the period.
He finally got going late in the half, knocking down a jumper that ignited a 14-2 run and gave Miami a 55-45 lead when he dunked an alley-oop pass on the break with 23 seconds left. He was holding his right wrist after the hard landing on a dash to the basket as the buzzer sounded, but was back on the floor when the second half started.
Wade had the first basket of the third quarter, but Beasley and Arroyo handled most of Miami's scoring for most of the period. They combined for 16 of the Heat's next 19 points to keep Miami safely ahead, then Wade broke out for eight points in about a minute to make it 83-70.
NOTES: Wade became the Heat's career leader with 462 games started. Glen Rice made 461 starts in a Miami uniform. ... The Knicks will complete their home schedule Monday against Washington. ... The Heat's only previous sweep was in 2004-05.