Heat Check: Miami can’t hold off Knicks’ second-half run

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) defends New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first quarter.

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It seems no matter the sport, records mean little when teams from Miami and New York tangle.

That understanding was reinforced Thursday night, when the Heat lost to the Knicks 102-92 at Madison Square Garden.

Southeast Division-leading Miami fell to 27-9 in losing to a sub-.500 team for the sixth time this season. New York improved to 13-22.

The Heat fell behind by 11 points with 9:33 left in regulation and never got closer than five from that point on.

After hitting just 1 of 10 from behind the arc during the first half, the Knicks shot 8 of 14 from 3-point territory to energize their second-half performance.

New York entered the game last in the league in points in the paint, yet outscored Miami 52-42 there.

The Heat also struggled from the foul line, sinking just 11 of 21 (52.4 percent).

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Miami went big down the stretch — using both Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen on the floor — but the unit struggled to get in sync offensively.

James finished with 32 points, five rebounds and six assists to lead the Heat. He also committed six turnovers.

Wade added 23 points and Bosh had six points and nine rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony’s 29 points and eight rebounds helped lead the Knicks.

The Heat again were without two starters. Shane Battier (quad strain) missed his fourth straight game and Mario Chalmers (Achilles’ tendinitis) sat for a second consecutive game.

New York outscored Miami 32-23 in the third quarter to take a four-point lead into the fourth.

Miami shot 54 percent to take a 48-43 halftime lead.

THE TURNING POINT

After Ray Allen’s four-point play pulled Miami within 84-79 with 7:24 left in the fourth, the Knicks used a 6-2 spurt to open a nine-point cushion with 5:50 to go. The Heat never really threatened after that.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

Since the scoring of LeBron and Carmelo basically offset each other, Iman Shumpert’s 4 of 7 from downtown and nine rebounds proved crucial.

STAT OF THE GAME

Wade was 0 of 6 from the free-throw line.

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WHAT’S NEXT

The Heat play the second of six straight road games when they visit the Brooklyn Nets on Friday at 8 p.m.

You can follow Charlie McCarthy on Twitter @mccarthy_chas or email him at mac1763@bellsouth.net.