Knicks beat Miami for the first time this season, avoid elimination

Heat Knicks Basketball

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) calls for help for injured teammate Baron Davis (85) during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first

Heat Knicks Basketball

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (7) defends Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff

Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points as the New York Knicks defeated the Miami Heat 89-87 to avoid elimination from the National Basketball Association playoffs.

The win ends an NBA record run of 13 postseason losses for the Knicks dating back to April 2001. The Heat leads the best-of-seven first-round series by three games to one and host Game 5 in Miami on May 8.

Stoudemire, playing for the first time since lacerating his left hand in a moment of frustration after Game 2, had 20 points and 10 rebounds. LeBron James led the Heat with 27 points.

Dwyane Wade had 22 points, but his off-balance, turnaround 3-pointer with time expiring bounced harmlessly off the rim.

So the Knicks’ NBA-record postseason losing streak finally came to an end after 13 games. And their hope for a series victory remained alive, albeit by the narrowest of margins.

Even this rare moment of elation came with an asterisk: Baron Davis, the Knicks’ starting point guard, dislocated his right kneecap in the third quarter. He is the second starting guard they have lost in the series, after a season-ending knee injury to Iman Shumpert in Game 1.

For the first time in this series, the Knicks played a meaningful fourth quarter, as the lead tipped back and forth repeatedly.

Anthony scored on back-to-back layups for a 78-75 lead. James hit two foul shots to give Miami a 79-78 lead. Anthony tied the game at 79-79 (on a free throw) and again at 81-81 (on a 15-footer). Mike Bibby ― who had replaced the injured Davis ― hit a 3-pointer for an 84-81 lead. Miami tied the game on a 3-pointer from James.

With the shot clock running down, and fans screaming nervously, Anthony hit a 3-pointer over Shane Battier ― his designated tormentor in the series ― giving the Knicks an 87-84 lead with 54.5 seconds left.

Anthony had the chance to put the game away when Battier fouled him on a 3-pointer moments later. But he missed the first two free throws, then sank the third for an 88-84 lead with 25.9 seconds left.

James cut the margin to a point with a 3-point play. Stoudemire made one of two foul shots with 14.8 seconds left for the final margin.

(The New York Times)