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Heat warm up in 2nd half to burn Knicks

Updated: 2013-03-04 14:45
( Xinhua)

LeBron James showed why he is the best player in the game as he harvested 29 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists to help Miami Heat rally to beat the New York Knicks 99-93 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.

The reigning MVP, who is on course for his 4th in five years, shrugged off a quiet first half and scored 19 points in the second, including a fast-break dunk off a crucial steal with 0:23 left that closed out the game for the Heat, who tied their franchise record with 14th straight win.

Dwyane Wade had 20 points, and Chris Bosh added 16 as the Heat's overcame a 14-point deficit at half time and outscored the Knicks 54-34 in the second half.

James attributed the win to their improved defense efforts.

"We came out in the third quarter with a sense of urgency. We've got defense stops even after they made another run," said James.

The Knicks, who defeated the Heat twice, both by 20 points, this season, started the game strong as Carmelo Anthony had 17 of his 32 points in the first quarter and backup point guard Jason Kidd was 4-for-4 from the three point line in the second, propelling the home team to a 59-45 halftime lead.

But the Knicks melted down on both ends of the floor in the second half as the Heat forced a slew of turnovers out of them, which is labeled as "uncharacteristic" by head coach Mike Woodson.

"We normally get shots...In the crunch time (of the fourth quarter) we turned it over and didn't get shots and they made us pay for it," said Woodson.

"We played a great first half. I thought we were flat in the third quarter and that cost us."

Anthony, the league's leading scorer (28.6 ppg), also pointed out that too many turnovers cannot get things done.

"You can't turn the ball over (too much) against a team like Miami. They capitalize on guys' mistakes. And that was what they did coming down the stretch."

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