NBA Game Summary - Miami at New York
(Tuesday, March 15th)
Final Score: Miami 98, New York 96
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade's step back 18-foot jumper as time expired lifted Miami over New York, 98-96, in dramatic fashion at Madison Square Garden, clinching a playoff berth for the Heat.
Wade ended with a team-high 24 points while Shaquille O'Neal added 23 points and seven boards for scorching Miami, which has won 10 straight and 17 of its last 19 contests en route to becoming the first NBA team to clinch a playoff berth.
"Well I knew I was going to shoot at the buzzer," said Wade. "He (Trevor Ariza) didn't give me the drive so I took the jumper."
Damon Jones drained 6-of-8 three-pointers to finish with 18 points for the Heat, who ended 10-of-16 from beyond the arc.
Stephon Marbury paced the Knicks with 24 points. Tim Thomas added 20 points, while Kurt Thomas posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds for New York, which has dropped two straight after a brief two-game winning streak.
Jamal Crawford chipped in eight points and tied a career-high with a game-high 12 assists in the setback.
"Trevor did a great job of keeping him (Wade) from penetrating," said Crawford. "I was like don't go in," Crawford said referring to Wade's shot.
Trailing 78-68 into the fourth, Miami used a 13-5 run to open the frame and pull within two. Former Knick Shandon Anderson capped the run with a layup, his only points of the game, as the Heat cut the deficit to 83-81 with 6:47 to go. Miami would eventually take the lead on two free throws by Keyon Dooling, making it 87-85 with five minutes remaining in the contest.
The Knicks, though, would even the game up at 96-96 on Kurt Thomas' short jumper with 1:23 to go. On the Heat's next possession, Jones would miss badly on a three-point attempt, but Crawford would misfire on an ill-advised three of his own for the Knicks, giving Miami the ball back with 40 seconds.
Wade would throw a bad entry pass inside that was stolen by Malik Rose with 30.7 seconds to go, but would make up for it in the game's closing seconds.
On New York's following possession, Kurt Thomas missed a jumper from the corner and Wade hauled down the rebound with 13.6 left. After a Miami timeout, Wade got the inbound pass near the top of the key, made several dribbles then rose for a shot over rookie Ariza that trickled through the net as time expired.
"It was the shot I always dreamed of since I was young," added Wade. "Especially at the Garden."
The Knicks led 14-12 early on before Miami answered with a 15-2 burst to take a nine-point lead late in the first. Wade's jumper ended the run, staking the Heat to a comfortable 27-16 advantage with just under three minutes left in the opening quarter.
The Knicks, though, were able to trim the deficit to 27-22 after 12 minutes of action, eventually regaining the lead, 41-39, on Rose's dunk with around five minutes to go in the first half. New York's margin grew to 50-44 as both teams headed into the locker room.
The Knicks then gained some breathing room midway through the third. Tim Thomas' dunk pushed New York's cushion to 66-53 with 5:45 remaining in the third and after three quarters of play the Knicks led 78-68.
Miami has won four in a row on the road...The Knicks fell to 5-9 in game's decided in the final three seconds or less...Miami has won five of its last seven at MSG...New York shot 37-of-74 from the floor (50 percent), while the Heat went 38-of-66 (58 percent)...Dooling finished with seven points and Eddie Jones netted 12 for the Heat.
03/15 23:13:38 ET