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Thursday, January 27, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 93, Heat 88

By Chris Sheridan

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Probably not the most impressive victory of the season (the beatdown of San Antonio a month ago still takes the cake), but a momentous one nonetheless, given that it happened in front of a national television audience on a night when Dwyane Wade went from incredibly hot (13 consecutive field goals made) to icy cold (0-for-6 in the fourth) as the Knicks played great defense down the stretch, holding Miami to 15 fourth-quarter points and 5-for-21 shooting. It was New York's first victory against a quality opponent from the East other than Chicago, and it was a night when Landry Fields (19 points, 13 rebounds) might have earned himself a spot back in the discussion along with Blake Griffin for rookie of the year honors.

TURNING POINT: Wade scored 14 of his 34 points in the third quarter, and LeBron James -- after having a lackadaisical quarter by his standards -- assisted on James Jones' fifth 3-pointer with 17 seconds left, putting Miami ahead 73-64, then had the best defensive play of the night when he snuffed a dunk attempt by Ronny Turiaf with 2.2 seconds left. But after the Knicks missed seven of their first eight shots of the fourth, Gallinari had a drive and a 3-pointer for a 77-76 lead with 5:19 left that made it a whole new ballgame.

DIFFERENCE-MAKER: There's a reason Spike Lee wears Landry Fields' jersey, and this was why. Not only did Fields have a team-high 13 rebounds -- five on the offensive end -- he sank a clutch 3-pointer with 49 seconds left to put New York ahead 89-84 after the Knicks had trailed for a majority of the game. Raymond Felton's two free throws with 5.3 seconds left after Mario Chalmers missed a potential tying 3-pointer iced it.

AMARE AN ALL-STAR: Amare Stoudemire outpolled Kevin Garnett by more than 100,000 votes over the final two weeks of balloting to earn a position alongside James as starting forwards for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Feb. 20. "They needed a piece that can get them over the hump and to contend again, and he's done it," James said.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks are headed to the airport after the game for a night flight to Atlanta, where they'll play the Hawks on Friday night for the first time since Atlanta came into the Garden and defeated the Knicks 99-90 in late November. The Hawks have gone 8-3 in January to climb to fifth place in the Eastern Conference, just one game behind Miami.