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James guides Miami over New York
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James filled it up for Miami, tallying 30 points and eight rebounds to lead the Heat to a 106-91 triumph over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
James also contributed seven assists and six steals to help Miami get back on track after getting smacked by Oklahoma City, 112-95, on Wednesday. Dwyane Wade added 22 points and Shane Battier scored 16 on 5-of-8 shooting to snap Miami's brief two-game losing skid against the Knicks.
"We got stops, we forced turnovers and we defensive rebounded," said James. "On the offensive end we just executed. When we do that, we're a very good team."
Carmelo Anthony paced New York with 26 points but matched a season-worst with seven turnovers in the setback. J.R. Smith donated 20 points and Tim Hardaway, Jr. had 17 off the bench as the Knicks' four-game winning streak came to a end. Hardaway, who was coming off a career-high 29 points, has reached double figures in five straight games and six of his last seven.
"I like the direction that we're going in right now, just as far as our mentality and our focus," said Anthony. "Tonight was just slippage, it happened and we have to bounce back on Monday."
The Knicks matched their total of 28 losses from a season ago with 35 games still to play.
James wasted no time asserting himself in this one, scoring or assisting on 21 of Miami's 29 first quarter points.
The Knicks trailed 29-22 after the opening frame and found themselves down by as many as 14 points after consecutive layups from Wade and James made it 46-32 at 5:44 of the second.
Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler scored to close out the half and pull New York within seven points, but it could have been fewer, as Anthony got fouled shooting a 3 but missed all three of the ensuing free throws 1:37 before halftime.
Smith followed an Anthony jumper with a deep triple less than a minute into the half to make it 53-51 in favor of the Heat, but the hosts never got over the hump. Battier's 3 highlighted an 11-1 Miami burst and despite the Knicks making one final push late in the third to get within four, the Heat led comfortably over the final 12 minutes.
This was James' eighth game scoring at least 30 points in 18 career games at MSG ... Miami outscored New York 48-30 in the paint ... Mario Chalmers poured in 11 points and Chris Andersen had 10 for the Heat.
02/02 01:24:11 ET
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