The Miami Heat halted their two-game skid with a 98-81 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
It was a game that Miami needed to have against the lowly Knicks following a pair of tough losses including a close one to the Golden State Warriors. The Heat opened things up in this one in a loud way, and had a relatively large lead quickly. Miami was all over the court both offensively and defensively early in the first quarter.
After New York went on a bit of a run to tighten the score up, Miami found its way again and never really found itself in trouble during the game. The win gave the Heat a series victory over the Knicks. On the season, Miami ended up taking three of four from New York.
Perhaps one of the more surprising aspects of this game was the strong support in the stands for Miami. There were multiple loud chants for the Heat from the MSG crowd, which likely would have been considered an impossibility in the past. Miami's players seemed to enjoy the unexpected support from the crowd.
Joe Johnson made his debut for the Heat after officially signing on Saturday and started for the team. Johnson made a quick three-pointer and ended up with 12 points on 5-10 shooting. Justise Winslow lost his starting gig due to Johnson's arrival and the rookie ended up scoreless in 34 minutes. Winslow was on the boards however with a team-leading 13 rebounds.
Amar'e Stoudemire was given another starting assignment in the building he used to call home. The veteran who played well in several of his home games while with the Knicks, put together a fine performance as a visitor this time around. Stoudemire had eight points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes on the court.
For a fifth straight game, Hassan Whiteside compiled a double-double off the bench. While playing for only 26 minutes, Whiteside had 16 points and 11 rebounds. The big man also added three steals and a pair of blocks.
Miami will be off on Monday before hosting the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.