Miami coach Pat Riley said before the game that he wasn't
planning to be aggressive before Thursday afternoon's trade
"I don't know why we need to make a trade," Walker said. "I
feel like we're going to be together for a while. Everybody feels
comfortable here. We played 18 or 19 games without the big fella,
and now 50 games into the season things are starting to flow."
The last-place Knicks acquired Francis from the Orlando Magic
earlier Wednesday for Trevor Ariza and Penny Hardaway. Francis
could be paired with Stephon Marbury in a high-scoring -- and very
expensive -- backcourt as the Knicks try to salvage a dismal season.
"It adds another player that can play," Marbury said. "We
have two explosive guards. We have two guards that can score at any
Marbury returned to the lineup after missing eight straight
games and 11 total with an injured right shoulder. Francis appeared
at a pregame press conference, but won't make his Knicks debut
until at least Friday night against New Jersey.
Channing Frye had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who
have lost 17 of 19. Marbury was 2-for-11 and had seven points in 30
"Physically he got tired," Knicks coach Larry Brown said. "He
tried. He seems rusty, but that wasn't totally unexpected. I'm glad
he got to play."
The Heat took control in the closing minutes of the first
quarter and early moments of the second. Miami closed the first
with a 10-3 spurt to take a 26-18 lead, then opened the second with
an 8-2 burst to make it 34-20 on Wade's two free throws with 10:03
remaining in the half.
"We started to play very well at the end of the quarter and
from that point on defensively we did a good job," Riley said.
"We moved the ball real well and had other guys stepping up. I
thought Antoine was really good tonight and we got the win."
The Knicks got within nine, but Williams made a 3-pointer with
6:45 to go and New York was never within single digits again.
"That's something we've needed out of him," Wade said of
Williams. "He's got to hold up his end of the bargain. I told him
that this morning and he did that tonight."
Miami extended the advantage to 19 points before the half, going
into the break with a 57-38 lead on a jumper by Williams with 0.5
seconds to go. The Heat shot 23 free throws in the first half,
while the Knicks were 3-for-4.
A brief flurry by New York cut it to 10 midway through the
third, but Williams made a layup and Wade added seven points in a
10-2 run that gave Miami a 73-55 lead with 3:46 left in the period.
The only drama after that was a skirmish involving O'Neal midway
through the final quarter. He shoved Malik Rose for an offensive
foul, then threw the ball down in disgust and hit Rose with it,
drawing a technical foul. Rose got up and the two jawed as players
from both teams gathered while Jamal Crawford shot the technical
"I would say at least four or five times the double forearm's
on his back," Riley said. "And I don't care, he's 340 pounds ...
he gets fed up with it because he can't move."
O'Neal said that wasn't the reason he was annoyed.
"He was just out flopping and the refs fell for it," O'Neal
^Notes:@ Knicks president Isiah Thomas also said he didn't expect to
aggressively seek another deal before the deadline. ... American
snowboarder Shaun White, the Olympic gold medalist in the men's
Halfpipe, sat courtside. ... The Heat have won their last four
games at New York, a franchise record. ... Slam dunk champion Nate
Robinson seemed to have an uncontested dunk, but Wade raced back to
stop him with a hard foul with 1:25 left in the first half.
Robinson did get one a minute later after a steal by Rose. ... The
Knicks were 1-10 without Marbury.