NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 27th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (31-13) at New York Knicks (23-21), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - LeBron James and the Miami Heat will make their second stop in the Big Apple tonight, when they take on Amare Stoudemire and the New York Knicks at historic Madison Square Garden.
The Heat went into MSG back on Dec. 17 and recorded a 113-91 victory behind James' 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists -- his first triple-double at the legendary landmark. James, who declined to sign with the Knicks in the offseason, then recorded 18 points and 10 boards in a 106-98 win over the Knicks in south Florida on Dec. 28.
Miami has won seven straight against the Knicks, losers in three straight as the host in this series. Miami hasn't been playing well lately, but was able to snap a four-game overall slide with Saturday's 120-103 triumph versus Toronto at AmericanAirlines Arena. James had 38 points and 11 rebounds, Mike Miller added 32 points and 10 boards and James Jones finished with 15 points for the Heat, who were without both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Miller, however, picked up the slack in their absence and set a team record for second-quarter points with 22.
"It was great to see [Miller] relevant again in this league," James said. "It was great to see him finally get his touch."
Wade did not play due to a migraine and Bosh missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. Bosh is expected to miss 1-2 weeks and Wade is listed as probable for Thursday's game. Wade was wearing sun glasses in practice to prevent another headache.
The Heat will play four of their next six games on the road and own a 15-8 record as the visitor this season.
New York was able to get out of the loss column as well by handing the Washington Wizards a 115-106 loss on Monday in Gotham. Stoudemire scored a game-best 30 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists for the Knicks, who put the clamps on a six-game losing streak.
"We needed this," Stoudemire said afterwards. "We have a couple of tough games coming up so tonight was a big night for us."
Wilson Chandler added 25 points, while Danilo Gallinari and Raymond Felton each scored 17 in a winning cause. Felton also dished out 15 assists, helping the Knicks improve to 11-9 as the host this season. Felton is averaging 17.5 points per game after averaging 14.2 points last season in Charlotte.
Stoudemire is averaging 27 points and 10.5 rebounds in two meetings with Miami this season, while James is averaging 25 points, 10.5 rebounds and nine assists against the Knicks in 2010-11. Stoudemire is second in the NBA in scoring with 26.1 ppg and James is third with 25.9 ppg. Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, the reigning scoring champion, is first with 28.1 ppg.
01/27 10:40:33 ET