Heat Strengthen Playoff Chances With Win in New York

The Heat moved 1.5 games ahead of ninth place with their win in New York on Wednesday

The Miami Heat improved their playoff chances with a 105-88 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Miami is now 1.5 games ahead of the ninth-place Chicago Bulls and could grab a share of the seventh seed later on Wednesday evening. At the conclusion of Miami's contest, the seventh-seeded Indiana Pacers trailed the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Heat find themselves at 37-38 and with plenty to play for over the next seven games. Miami could reach as high as the fifth seed in the conference, but could also easily fall out of the playoffs altogether. With a tough road trip approaching, Miami needs every win it can get.

The first half featured an oddity, both Hassan Whiteside and New York's Carmelo Anthony were held scoreless throughout much of the 24 minutes. That changed in the second half, but Whiteside still only ended up with 11 points in the game. The center also added nine rebounds and four blocks.

In every aspect, this was a team win for Miami. There were multiple contributors in the starting lineup and off the bench. Goran Dragic led all Heat players with his 20 points and nine assists. The guard also had seven rebounds, which put him close to a triple-double. Dragic was active defensively as well with two steals.

James Johnson was huge off the bench, with 18 points and seven rebounds. The forward had four assists, three steals and two blocks. Johnson was also 2-2 on his three-point tries and Miami was +11 with him on the court.

Josh Richardson's evening should not be overlooked either, as he chipped in 17 points and a team-high five steals.

Miami and New York will be right back at it on Friday in Miami at 8:00 p.m.

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