Carmelo Anthony tied a career high with 50 points and the New York Knicks won their ninth straight game 102-90 at the Miami Heat, whose leading scorers LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were sidelined with injuries.
Anthony, accumulating 50 points for the third time in his National Basketball Association career, was 18 of 26 from the floor, including 7 of 10 on 3-pointers last night at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.
“I’m healthy, that’s a big key for me,” Anthony, the Knicks’ leading scorer this season, said in a televised interview. “I feel good.”
James and Wade both have leg injuries. James has a strained right hamstring and Wade a sprained right ankle. Starting point guard Mario Chalmers also was out because of a right ankle sprain, the Heat said yesterday in a Twitter post.
“The No. 1 thing, obviously, is try to get as healthy as we can,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “From there, we have time to still try to improve -- not just stay in rhythm, but to improve.”
Miami (58-16) is atop the Eastern Conference, 10 1/2 games better than the Knicks and Indiana Pacers. The Knicks (47-26) hold the top spot in the conference’s Atlantic division, five games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets.
Anthony gave the Knicks an 8-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game and ended the first quarter with 17 of his team’s 27 points.
“My goal was to come out and attack it,” Anthony said. “We got back to having fun playing basketball. We’ll try to finish the season strong.”
Mike Miller, who had 18 points, helped the Heat build a 58- 50 halftime lead. The Knicks outscored Miami by 10 points in the third period and led by two points entering the fourth quarter.
The Knicks held Miami without a basket in the final seven minutes, 54 seconds of the game and finished with a 12-2 run.
J.R. Smith came off the bench to score 14 points for the Knicks and Raymond Felton added 10. Chris Bosh scored 23 points and reserve Ray Allen contributed 16 for the Heat.
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