Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/13

Game 1: Friday, December 13th
Game 2: Sunday, December 22nd
Game 3: Monday, January 20th
Game 4: Wednesday, January 29th

Heat 92

(9-18, 5-9 away)

Knicks 84

(8-16, 6-9 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:00 PM ET, December 22, 2002

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 23 21 23 2592
    NY 31 18 16 1984

    Top Performers

    Miami: B. Grant 11 Pts, 10 Reb, 7 Ast, 2 Stl

    New York: H. Eisley 19 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast

    Javie officiates, but Riley can't complain this time

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Mike James' offensive outburst sparked the Miami Heat. Coach Pat Riley's recent outburst helped him bite his tongue.

    Eddie Jones scored 22 points and James added a career-high 17 as the Heat beat the New York Knicks 92-84 Sunday.

    Steve Javie officiated his first Heat game since the Riley accused the referee of holding a grudge against him, but on Sunday Riley didn't repeat his expletive-laced speech about officiating.

    "I didn't give it that much thought. I was a little surprised,'' said Riley, who didn't say anything to Javie during the game, and didn't bite when asked to assess his performance after it.

    "For fifty thousand? You've got to be (kidding me),'' he said, referencing the number of dollars he was fined for his Dec. 13 outburst.

    Malik Allen added 17 points and James scored 11 points in the fourth quarter for the Heat, who won their third straight game for the first time this season.

    "It just opened up for me,'' James said. "I wish I could get 38 points as a career high, but I've got to be patient.''

    Howard Eisley had 19 points and Kurt Thomas had 16 for the Knicks, who fell apart after shooting 65 percent in the first quarter.

    James gave the Heat the lead for good by banking a running jumper in at the buzzer to end the third quarter, and scored twice to start the fourth as Miami went on a 14-2 run.

    New York missed open shots, fumbled passes and turned the ball over, but cut the lead to 84-77 on Eisley's three free throws with 2:22 left.

    Caron Butler hit a jumper 20 seconds later, though, and Allen hit an open jumper from the top of the key, and the Knicks never got closer than seven.

    Jones tied the game at 54 with 7:15 left in the third quarter, and Butler's baseline hook gave the Heat a 60-58 lead, its first since the first quarter.

    "The energy and momentum just switched,'' New York's Allan Houston said. "We were just inconsistent the whole game.''

    Riley's accusations about referees centered on discrepancies in free throws. Before Sunday's game, the Heat had shot 226 fewer free throws than their opponents, including 21 less than the Knicks in Miami.

    But the Heat shot 27 free throws to the Knicks' 14 on Sunday, and played tough defense in the second half to hold off the Knicks.

    "We weren't rotating and we were doubling (Latrell) Sprewell in the post,'' Jones said. "In the second half, we made them drive to the basket and contested their shots.''

    With the rookie Butler guarding Sprewell, New York had frequent open jumpers in the first quarter, and the Knicks hit them.

    Eisley hit all three of his 3-pointers, including one with 19 seconds left that gave the Knicks a 31-23 lead.

    Allan Houston even hit two 3-pointers with Eddie Jones right in his face as New York hit 11 of 17 shots in the opening quarter.

    Jones was 0-for-5 in the first period, but hit his first three jumpers and had three free throws to start the second as Miami cut the lead to 41-34.

    "They wanted the game more than we did,'' Sprewell said,'' and we can't have that, especially at home.''

    Game notes
    Sprewell scored 14 points on just 5-of-14 shooting. ... Allen started his second straight game after injuring his right knee Wednesday at Boston. ... The Knicks were called for 21 personal fouls to Miami's 19. ... Javie called Allen for a foul on the Knicks first possession. ... Riley had a few choice words on two plays, once for Scott Wall and once for Mark Wunderlich, but never yelled at Javie.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 84
    FGM-FGA 36-73 (.493) 33-79 (.418)
    3PM-3PA 0-6 (.000) 6-17 (.353)
    FTM-FTA 20-27 (.741) 12-14 (.857)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-41 7-34
    Assists 18 20
    Turnovers 11 13
    Steals 5 2
    Blocks 1 2
    Fast Break Points 2 0
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 21 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Brian Grant Grant
    Points: 11
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Howard Eisley Eisley
    Points: 19
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0