HEAT burn New York, 111-98
By BRIAN MAHONEY,
NEW YORK (AP) Dwyane Wade scored 32 points and the Miami HEAT 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.
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.
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.
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 appeared to be holding his right wrist after a 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 Carlos 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.
Updated April 11, 2010