Olynyk’s big night helps Heat past Knicks, 119-98
MIAMI (AP) A big lead was slipping away, so the Miami Heat called upon their best offensive option: The 3-point shot.
Just like that, the rout resumed.
Tyler Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the third quarter to spark the run that put Miami in control for good, Kelly Olynyk finished with 22 points and a career-high 10 assists and the Heat rolled past the New York Knicks 119-98 on Wednesday night.
Miami was 5 for 7 from 3-point range in the third, 15 for 34 from beyond the arc for the game, and is now only three makes away from the franchise record of 808 set last season.
”They’re shooting the right ones,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”I get that analytics question all the time: `Do you just want to shoot a bunch of 3s?’ It depends. You’ve got to have the right guys and you’ve got to shoot the right ones.”
Wayne Ellington scored 16, Justise Winslow added 15, Goran Dragic had 14 and Josh Richardson finished with 12 for the Heat, who remained seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They’re now 1 1/2 games ahead of No. 8 Milwaukee after the Bucks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers, and 6 1/2 games clear of No. 9 Detroit.
Olynyk’s previous high for assists was eight, done twice. He scored 52 points, had 16 assists and grabbed 13 rebounds in Miami’s brief two-game homestand, with the Heat winning both outings.
”We’re just real connected right now on both ends of the floor,” Olynyk said. ”Guys are playing well together.”
Led by Olynyk, the Heat bench outscored New York’s 62-28.
”Their bench destroyed,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said.
Enes Kanter scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Knicks. Michael Beasley had a brilliant start and added 22 points on 10 for 15 shooting for New York, and Trey Burke scored 16 off the bench.
Beasley – who’s had three stints with the Heat – shook hands with Heat managing general partner Micky Arison during one first-half stoppage in play.
”I love Micky,” Beasley said. ”Micky was one of my favorite people when I was here. I was just saying what’s up to him. He told me to cool off at that point.”
He did cool off, with only two points and four shots after halftime.
”The other team played with more energy,” Burke said.
Miami’s halftime lead was 64-47, before New York briefly made things interesting. Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 3-pointer got the Knicks within 72-63 with 5 minutes gone in the third, but that’s when Johnson made his back-to-back 3s to restore order.
The lead eventually swelled to 28 and the Heat emptied their bench with 5 minutes left.
Knicks: Lance Thomas (family matter) remained away from the team, and Emmanuel Mudiay started despite a sore ankle. … Beasley was 4 for 4 in the first quarter. He’s only been better than that once in an opening period – 5 for 5 for Milwaukee against Detroit on Feb. 13, 2017. … New York had a two-game winning streak – its longest since mid-December – snapped.
Heat: Dwyane Wade (hamstring) and Hassan Whiteside (hip flexor) remained sidelined. Wade is close to a return, but the Heat haven’t set a timetable. … Ellington’s third 3-pointer was his 200th of the season, making him the third Heat player with that many in a season. He joins Damon Jones (225) and Tim Hardaway Sr. (203). … The 17-point halftime lead was Miami’s fourth-largest this season.
LIFE OF RILEY
Heat President Pat Riley turned 73 on Tuesday. New York won seven playoff series in his four years as Knicks coach, and has won nine playoff series in the 23 seasons since he left for Miami.
The Knicks are 8-29 on the road this season – and two of those wins were at Brooklyn, which means they’re 6-29 outside of New York.
TENNIS IN TOWN
The Miami Open started this week, and among those in the sold-out crowd for Knicks-Heat were tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Alex Zverev.
Knicks: Host Minnesota on Friday.
Heat: Visit Oklahoma City on Friday.