Melo can't do it alone in loss to Heat - New York Daily News

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Melo can't do it alone in loss to Heat - New York Daily News
Apr 15th 2012, 20:02


If the Knicks strategy is for Carmelo Anthony to score between 50 and 60 points, this is going to be a short playoff run.

There is no denying that Anthony has flourished under Mike Woodson and especially since replacing an injured Amar'e Stoudemire at power forward. But he can't do it alone. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had each other on Sunday while Anthony has every right to complain about lack of support.

Anthony scored 42 points — the most by any player this season against the Heat — but it wasn't enough as Miami held on to defeat the Knicks 93-85. The loss ended the Knicks nine-game home winning streak and dropped them back into eighth place, a half-game behind Philadelphia.

Maybe the Heat did the Knicks a favor, because finishing eighth would mean a meeting with Chicago in the first round. At least the Knicks took one of four games from the Bulls. Miami won the season series 3-0, completing the sweep in its one and only visit to the Garden this year.

James finished with 29 points and Wade scored eight of his 28 in the last 7:20 as the Heat improved to 42-17. The Knicks are 31-29 heading into Tuesday's home game against Boston.

Anthony made 14 of 27 shots and 12 of 15 free throws but he was just 2-for-7 in the fourth quarter. J.R. Smith finished with 16 and was the only Knicks player besides Anthony to score in double figures. The other four starters — Landry Fields, Tyson Chandler, Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert — scored a combined 19 points on 8-for-23 shooting. Chandler finished the game despite injuring his left knee in the third quarter but he was clearly hurting.

Smith's dunk gave the Knicks a 79-77 lead with eight minutes left but Miami took control over the next four minutes, outscoring the Knicks 12-1 behind three baskets from Wade.

Anthony scored 22 of the Knicks 44 first half points and added 13 more in the third quarter. James, however, had 10 points in period including two free throws that extended Miami's lead to 67-58. Chandler was called for a flagrant foul on James' drive but with a chance to make it a four-point possession, James turned the ball over when he stepped on the baseline.

On the ensuing possession, Chandler landed awkwardly when he drove to the basket and appeared to injure his left knee. The veteran center missed both free throws but the Knicks controlled the rebound and Smith buried a 3-pointer.

The Knicks closed out the period on a 10-4 run including another three from Smith with four seconds left. Anthony sat the first two minutes of the fourth and when he returned Novak had hit a three and Shumpert's steal led to a Landry Fields' dunk.

The score was tied at 75 when Anthony checked in and the Knicks caught a break when he was credited for tapping in Smith's shot. The ball, however, was still on the rim and Anthony should have been called for basket interference.

Instead, the hoop gave him 37 points and moments later Anthony caught another break when he charged through the lane and used his forearm to separate himself from Shane Battier. The veteran forward, who along with Jared Jeffries can teach a course in flopping, fell to the floor and was called for a foul.

Anthony's two free throws with 8:26 left gave the Knicks a lead and it also got James back in the game. Wade's second turnover of the quarter led to Smith's dunk but over the next two minutes, Miami scored six straight points including two baskets from Wade, who had gone nearly 10 minutes between field goals.

Chandler was then fouled on a dunk attempt by Joel Anthony but could only make one free throw. Moments later, Anthony slipped inside Chandler for an easy put back and after Anthony and Smith missed on long jumpers, Wade and James scored to extend the Heat's lead to 87-80 with 4:08 to play.

Chandler answered with a dunk but Miami scored the game's next six points to seal the win.

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