(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks extended their season but lost another
player in the process.
Now, New York must take on the unenviable task of trying to stave off
elimination again by beating the star-studded Miami Heat, this time in South
With his team on the brink Sunday, Carmelo Anthony poured in 41 points as the
Knicks defeated the Heat, 89-87, in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference
quarterfinal matchup at Madison Square Garden.
Amare Stoudemire, who missed Game 3 with an injured left hand which he
suffered when he punched a fire extinguisher after a loss in Game 2, returned
to the lineup and scored 20 points and grabbed 10 boards to help the Knicks
earn their first playoff victory in over a decade.
"We needed a big game out of both of those guys to get over the hump," said
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson about Anthony and Stoudemire. "Now we got this
monkey off our back and we're still playing."
The Knicks had lost an NBA-record 13 straight consecutive playoff games,
dating back to April 29, 2001, but still have plenty of work to do as they
trail Miami 3-1 in their best-of-seven series. No team in NBA history has ever
rallied back from an 0-3 series deficit.
LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade chipped in 22 and Chris Bosh added
17 but the Heat were unable to complete their first series sweep since the
second round of the 2005 playoffs against the Washington Wizards.
"It's not ideal, obviously, but it is the deal," remarked Miami head coach
Erik Spoelstra. "We have to own it and the Knicks made enough big plays there
at the end. They made big shots and we couldn't quite match that."
With the Knicks on top 89-87 with 14.8 seconds left Wade tried to get to the
basket on the game's final possession, but lost control of the ball, forcing
him back to the three-point line where he tossed up a potential game-winner
that hit the front rim to send the series to a fifth game.
"Without getting too descriptive on what we were looking for, at the end of
the day we had an open lane on that drive," Spoelstra said. "We've seen Dwyane
make those plays time and time again over the years. We'll live with that."
The win didn't come without cost for New York. Veteran point guard Baron
Davis, who was starting in place of the injured Jeremy Lin, left the game on a
stretcher with 5:15 left in the third after dislocating his patella in his
right knee on a drive to the basket.
An MRI on Davis Monday revealed a partial tear of the patella tendon and
complete tears of the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral
The Knicks, of course, had already entered the series with Lin sidelined from
late-season knee surgery and lost defensive stalwart Iman Shumpert to a torn
ACL in a 33-point Game 1 setback.
Lin was thought to be close to returning but has now been ruled out no matter
how long the series lasts.
"If he's not ready to go based on how he's feeling, we've got to respect that
and move on," Woodson said.
The Knicks and Heat were once the game's biggest rivalry back in the late
1990s thanks to Pat Riley. Riley, the current Heat president, was the coach in
New York from 1991-95 and took the Knicks to the '94 NBA Finals. He resigned
from New York via fax to move on to South Florida, creating quite a bit of
acrimony with the New York faithful.
In '97, Riley's Heat defeated his old team in a physical seven-game series
advancing to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in franchise
history. However, the '98, '99 lockout-shortened season, and 2000 playoffs
would be disappointments for Miami as they lost to the arch-rival Knicks; the
first two in the opening round and the latter in the second round.
Game 6 of the best-of-seven series, if necessary, will be on Friday in
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