Knicks rip Heat in first big New York game since Sandy
NEW YORK (AFP) –
Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points and the New York Knicks beat reigning NBA champion Miami 104-84 in the first major sports event in New York since killer superstorm Sandy struck.
A packed house in famed Madison Square Garden cheered the Knicks in their season opener against the Heat. The Knicks had been scheduled to play Thursday at Brooklyn but that game was canceled due to storm damage.
“It tells a lot about New York City,” Anthony said. “We come together in tough times. We all know what happened with Hurricane Sandy. But the city came together tonight.”
The New York Marathon, which had been scheduled for Sunday, was called off in the aftermath of the deadly storm that destroyed homes, knocked out electricity to millions of people and flooded neighborhoods.
“There are people without electricity, people without homes, people who lost loved ones. Our heart goes out to them,” Knicks guard Ronnie Brewer said. “Hopefully the game can give people in New York something to cheer about.
“(Now) it goes back to real life. There are still people struggling in New York and still need some relief. I think that’s important.”
Miami star guard Dwyane Wade, who openly questioned whether or not the game should even be played given the area’s devastation with homes destroyed and many without electricity, donated his $210,000 game check to relief efforts.
“Bigger things to be concerned about than us,” Wade said. “(It) takes people’s minds away from things but I think there are bigger things that need to be done here. We should be here to do something to help the city.”
NBA superstar LeBron James, coming off his first NBA crown with the Heat in June and an Olympic gold medal with the US team last August in London, hoped the inspirational value of playing the game made the effort worthwhile.
“Getting everything back up running from the hurricane is more important than the basketball game,” he said. “But there’s also people that believe that we need this basketball game for a lot of spirits and a lot of families.”
Anthony sparked a 13-0 Knicks run that gave New York a 30-12 lead late in the first quarter. Anthony scored 16 points in the opening quarter despite missing his first three shots, hitting four of five three-pointers in the period.
The Knicks had the same 18-point margin at 81-63 entering the fourth quarter and kept command to the finish.
“We just believe in one another,” Anthony said. “We just won one game. We protected our home court. Tomorrow we’ll go to our playbook, see what we did wrong and go work to do better at that.”
James scored 23 points to lead Miami, while Wade added 15 for the Heat.
Rasheed Wallace played in the final minutes for the Knicks, the first time the former All-Star forward had seen NBA action in more than two years. He sank the 19th and last three-pointer of the game for the Knicks in the final seconds.