for this game

Crawford, Knicks hand Heat 13th straight loss

Jan 20, 2008 - 4:47 AM By Rick Menning PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Not even the punchless New York Knicks could keep the Miami Heat from going to the mat for the 13th consecutive game.

Jamal Crawford collected 22 points and seven assists as the Knicks, who have won four of their last five games, finished the game on a decisive run en route to an 88-84 victory over the Heat on Saturday night.

Nate Robinson had 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds for New York, which secured just its third road win in 17 games away from Madison Square Garden and kept Miami winless in 2008.

"We don't like it, but it's there and it's dragging us down," Miami coach Pat Riley said of the skid which began on Christmas Day with a loss at Cleveland. "You don't want to talk about it too much because you don't want to make it any worse than it is."

With the score tied at 79-79 and 2:54 remaining, Robinson banked one off the glass and Zach Randolph followed with a jumper with 1:01 remaining as New York built a four-point lead it would not relinquish. The Knicks finished the game on an 11-3 spurt.

"We've been in so many close games but we can't seem to get over that hump," said Heat center Shaquille O'Neal, who was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and finished with 10 points. "We shot ourselves in the foot again and made some mistakes."

David Lee's dunk off Robinson's feed had given the Knicks their first lead at 72-71 with 9:45 left. But Dwyane Wade's jumper, his first field goal of the second half, put Miami right back ahead in the see-saw struggle.

"After we ran into a hot team last night, this was a big game on the road," Lee said. "I just wanted to go all out tonight. This was a huge momentum game."

Wade said the stretch of three games in four days took its toll in the second half. He managed only seven points over the final two quarters.

"I tried to push my way through (the game), but physically I just wasn't into it," Wade said. "I got a lot of good looks but just missed the shots that I would normally make."

The Knicks faced an even tougher week than the Heat, having played four games in five nights.

"I was just trying to get a unit out there that had a little spark," New York coach Isiah Thomas said. "It wasn't pretty, but we were able to grind and hang in there."

Wade said the team never thinks about the losing streak when it's on the court.

"You feel it when the game's over, but when you're out there, you're only thought is to compete," Wade said. "It's been our luck through much of this thing not to get the bounces, and that happened again (tonight)."

Robinson sparked New York to an 8-0 run late in the third quarter before Mark Blount's 20-foot jumper enabled Miami to take a 69-65 advantage into the fourth quarter.

"I thought Nate's energy and shot-making really kept us in the game," Thomas said. "He and Jamal really finished the game off for us."

The Knicks pressured the Heat throughout the third quarter and chipped away at the their five-point halftime lead.

"If you can play defense, you give yourself a chance to win. I thought we had some big plays and some big steals," Crawford said. "Legs are tired, you're tired, but you push through it."

Udonis Haslem, who managed only three points over the first two quarters, sparked Miami's resurgence with eight points in the third period. Wade's two free throws enabled Miami to its largest lead with a six-point run to go ahead 67-57 with just over three minutes remaining.

"It's no one particular thing; it's just a lot of things that come back to bite you," Haslem said of the reasons for the mounting defeats. "Bad things are happening at the worst times."

Crawford netted eight points in the third quarter as the Knicks battled back to within four.

"Tonight was definitely a good test," Crawford said. "To play four games in five nights is tough for any team. The good teams take the steps to win those games."

New York, which saw its three-game winning streak end Friday against Washington, fell behind 13-4 early after shooting a dismal 1-of-9 from the field early in the opening period.

But the Knicks' bench kept the game close as Robinson and Lee combined for 13 points in the first quarter, despite Miami's 30-21 lead after one.

Randolph scored six points in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second quarter to pull the Knicks within four - the closest they would get in the first half.

"We played hard and we played the whole game," Randolph said. "We rebounded really well, and got the defensive stops we needed at the end."

Wade, who had 15 points at the intermission, scored all six of his second-quarter points in just over two minutes as the Heat extended their lead to 45-35.

"It was a game for runs, and they (the Knicks) got the last run," Wade said. "The only thing we can do is stay positive and encourage each other."

  • NBA
    NEW YORK 88

    Jan 19 10:03 PM
  • 70
    RUWTbot Added 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Knicks vs. HeatJan 19 10:00 PM

  • NBA
    NEW YORK 65

    Jan 19 9:23 PM

    WRIGHT 6

    Jan 19 8:42 PM

  • NBA
    NEW YORK 21

    Jan 19 8:07 PM
  • 10
    bpiv Added 5 roots

    Knicks vs. HeatJan 19 3:23 PM
  • 5
    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Knicks vs. HeatJan 19 6:49 AM