The Miami Heat had been struggling all season long on the road, and as the tournament comes to an end timing couldn’t had been better for Erik Spoelstra and his squad. It was a big scenario, and knowing very well that the two teams could meet up again in the Playoffs made this one match so much more meaningful. The Heat took it personally, and it was up to the Big Three to find a way to slow down the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony.
Things could have gone the other way, that’s for sure. Carmelo was on fire. He finished the night with 42 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, but the truth is thtat very little came from the rest of the squad, and at the end, it was up to LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to make the best of the night and take away a 93-85 win at the Garden.
LeBron James guided the Heat with 29 points and 10 rebounds and he got a little help from his friends Dwayne Wade, who had one of the best performances of the season with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Wade knew well that this was an important game and that a win at New York would certainly be a motivational boost for the squad. “This is obviously a lot of our favorite places to play, but I think it came at a good time for us,” Wade said in the postgame press conference. “We were struggling, as in to play a complete game on the road, and what better place to come in and focus then here, where this team has been playing well and can embarrass you if you don’t play your game. So understanding that this could obviously be a first-round matchup as well, I thought today we came in, we didn’t play amazing, but played good enough to win the game. We did a lot of good things, so it was a good time for it.”
The big issue here is that for the better part of the match, it was unclear whether he Knicks would actually be able to stand up against their division rival. From the start, we knew well that the odds were not on their side. Sure enough the New York Knicks had the home court advantage, but it is hard to make a strong case in that sense considering that they had loss their previous two matches and particularly because this time around the Knicks were facing the Heat without Amare Stoudemire and the long-gone to injury Jeremy Lin. So this time, really it was all about what Carmelo Anthony could bring into the equation.
Sure enough J.R Smith scored 16 points but the truth is that the Heat didn’t give them a break during the first three quarters and then it was too late to pull back into the game. “It was all a blur. I don’t even know what happened. It just happened so fast. They made some tough shots down the stretch the last couple of minutes of the game, the last six minutes of the game,” Anthony said. “We couldn’t make shots. We had some good looks. Couldn’t make them. Didn’t make them”