On this night, LeBron James couldn’t touch Carmelo Anthony — and Melo should thank Miami president Pat Riley for it.
With James and Dwyane Wade sitting out Tuesday night’s showdown with “minor’’ ailments, Anthony put on a South Beach show with 50 points in 40 minutes.
Anthony carried the Knicks to a 102-90 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena for their ninth straight victory — their longest winning streak since 1993-94.
Anthony had 42 points after three quarters but needed a 19-footer with 16.9 seconds to reach the magical 50 that tied his career high. James had a great view from the bench — as Anthony sank 18 of 26 baskets, made 7 of 10 3-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws.
How’d it look, LeBron?
“He was unbelievable,’’ coach Mike Woodson said. “He refused to let us lose tonight. He wasn’t forcing anything. Some things come easy for a great player and tonight he did everything he was supposed to do to put us in position to win.’’
– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post
J.R. Smith scored 14 and Raymond Felton added 10 for New York.
Chris Bosh scored 23 points for Miami, which beat San Antonio on Sunday without James, Wade and Chalmers, but managed only 32 second-half points against the Knicks. Mike Miller scored 18, Ray Allen finished with 16 and Norris Cole had 14 for the Heat, whose 17-game home winning streak was snapped.
The Knicks beat the Heat in three of their four regular-season matchups. They likely would not meet again before the Eastern Conference finals.
– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press