Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds as the Knicks defeated the reigning National Basketball Association Miami Heat 104-84 in New York’s season opener.
The Knicks’ scheduled season opener against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Nov. 1 was postponed until Nov. 26 after Hurricane Sandy devastated the New York region.
“Over the last couple of days, we didn’t even know if this game was going to be played,'' Anthony told reporters. ``Then before the game we look up and they say they canceled the Marathon, so it was like, we have to go out there and play. So today was something to give New York a couple hours of some peace.”
The Heat (1-1) are favored to win back-to-back NBA titles, with a successful $100 bet returning $225, according to Pregame.com. The Los Angeles Lakers, who have lost their first three games, are second followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, last season’s runner-up. A winning $100 bet on the Knicks would return $4,000; one on the Nets $5,000.
The Knicks rushed to a 33-17 lead after the first quarter and had a 55-44 advantage at halftime before a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Anthony hit two 3-pointers in a 10-0 run that gave New York an 11-point lead in the first quarter. J.R. Smith dropped in six straight points before Anthony hit another 3-pointer to give the Knicks a 30-12 lead with just over a minute left in the period. At the buzzer, he sank another 3-pointer.
The Knicks, who are playing without an injured Amar’e Stoudemire, hit 19 of 36 three-pointers compared with seven of 20 for the Heat.
Steve Novak came off the bench to contribute 17 points for the Knicks, and Raymond Felton added 14.
“I think this win meant a lot for us, for the city, fans, you know, just everybody in New York,” Felton told reporters. “This was a big win, so I’m happy we got it.”
LeBron James had 23 points and Rashard Lewis added 16 for the Heat.
“Right from the get-go you could tell there was a difference in energy, disposition, quickness to the ball both ends of the court,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “They played a very good basketball game. Got us on our heels pretty much the whole game and we weren’t able to recover from there. We have to move on. We’re clearly much better than this.”
Elsewhere in the NBA, it was Charlotte Bobcats 90, Indiana Pacers 89; Orlando Magic 102, Denver Nuggets 89; Milwaukee Bucks 99, Boston Celtics 88; Houston Rockets 109, Atlanta Hawks 102; Chicago Bulls 115, Cleveland Cavaliers 86; New Orleans Hornets 88, Utah Jazz 86; Oklahoma City Thunder 106, Portland Trail Blazers 92; Minnesota Timberwolves 92, Sacramento Kings 80; Phoenix Suns 92, Detroit Pistons 89; Memphis Grizzlies 104, Golden State Warriors 94; and Los Angeles Clippers 105, Los Angeles Lakers 95.