LeBron scores 38 as Heat top Knicks 102-91
MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James couldn't wake up Sunday. He was sluggish when his alarm went off at 8:00 am and still in a funk when the Miami Heat and New York Knicks tipped off five hours later.
He eventually got into form, just in time to perhaps doom the Knicks' playoff chances.
James scored 38 points, and the Heat survived an NBA-record 22 three-point attempts from New York's J R Smith, in a 102-91 victory that kept Miami atop the Eastern Conference standings.
"You do your job and you live with the results," James said. "We lived with the result of J R making some of those bombs."
Chris Bosh added 14 points and Ray Allen had 12 for the Heat.
Smith was 11 for 28 from the floor, 10 for 22 from beyond the arc, and took 10 threes in the fourth quarter alone while Carmelo Anthony didn't attempt a single shot in the period.
The single-game mark was previously held by Damon Stoudemire, who hoisted 21 threes on April 15, 2005.
"It's not really been a goal of mine," Smith said. "I saw the open three and tried to take them. I had to take advantage."
Smith finished with 32 for the Knicks, who got 14 from Raymond Felton and 13 from Anthony on 4 for 17 shooting. Anthony has been bothered by a sore right shoulder, but played 44 minutes.
"Melo is still hurting," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I couldn't rest him again tonight. That second half, he was giving us what he's got."
The Heat (53-23) ensured they would finish the day still ahead of Indiana atop the East standings. New York (33-45) has only four games left and will be either two or three losses behind Atlanta when Sunday ends, depending on the outcome of the later game between the Hawks and Pacers.
"Our fate is almost now in Atlanta's hands," Anthony said. "It's tough. ... My fate is in somebody else's hands."
The start suggested it would be a great day for the Knicks.
James had four turnovers in the opening minutes and New York -- which had its best opening 2 1/2 minutes offensively in at least a decade, according to STATS LLC -- held a 16-3 lead.
"Flummoxing," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It was bizarre. Our turnovers were, no offence to the Knicks, absolutely unforced."
It was still 16-3 when Felton was whistled for a second early foul, and everything changed. The Knicks missed six straight shots and the Heat scored nine straight points. James -- who had one turnover in the final 3 1/2 quarters -- settled down and things started going Miami's way.
"I wasn't awake yet," James said.
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