Heat Roll Past Knicks, 95-78

first_imgMIAMI — No one had a big scoring night for Miami, which was not an issue. Having great defensive numbers is considerably more important to the Heat right now anyway.And they stifled the New York Knicks.Miami forced New York into missing 15 out of 16 shots in one early stretch, part of what became a 95-78 Heat victory on Nov. 23 and the Knicks’ worst shooting performance in their last 212 games — a mere 32 percent effort. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each scored 16 points for the Heat, who snapped New York’s four-game winning streak.“You can see some defensive habits being built,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “In this game I think it was fitting that there wasn’t a quote-unquote star of the game. It was more of a group effort.”It was 52-30 at halftime, and numbers like that have become common at Heat games. New York was the eighth NBA team this season to score no more than 30 in a half — and Miami has been responsible for three of those instances.“We never gave ourselves a chance,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.The Knicks hadn’t even trailed by double figures in any of their last eight games. Miami led at one point by 26, simultaneously its biggest advantage and the Knicks’ biggest deficit so far this season.“We’re starting to figure it out,” Wade said after Miami finished off a 6-1 homestand.Goran Dragic had 13 points and nine assists for the Heat. Tyler Johnson scored 12, and Hassan Whiteside had 11 points and 11 rebounds.Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points for New York, which has lost 13 of its last 16 in Miami. Rookie Kristaps Porzingis missed 11 of 18 shots, but still had 20 points and 14 rebounds for his seventh double-double.“We missed shots early. It kind of got us down a little bit,” Anthony said. “We did a much better job in the second half making the adjustment. But by that time we were already in the hole.”New York led 13-6 early, and briefly. Miami’s big run made it 42-21, and New York never got closer than 12 again. Anthony missed a 3-pointer that would have gotten the Knicks within nine early in the fourth, but it bounced off the rim and Miami put the game away with seven unanswered points that quickly got the lead back to 19.“We’re going to need these habits that we’ve built in these last couple games,” Johnson said. “We’re building a championship-level defense. We’re definitely on the right path and I think we can get even better.”(TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more