Miami Heat

Anthony scores 35 and Knicks overwhelm outmanned Heat

Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, center Hassan Whiteside and guard Rodney McGruder couldn't stop Knicks' forward Carmelo Anthony from dunking in the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat and New York Knicks game at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tues., Dec. 6, 2016.
Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic, center Hassan Whiteside and guard Rodney McGruder couldn't stop Knicks' forward Carmelo Anthony from dunking in the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat and New York Knicks game at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Tues., Dec. 6, 2016. pportal@miamiherald.com

Life with just nine available players — an unfortunate predicament that faces the Heat at least three more times in the coming days — continued for Miami Tuesday with a respectable effort for much of the night but ultimately another home loss, Miami’s eighth in 10 games at AmericanAirlines Arena.

With Carmelo Anthony scoring 15 of his 35 in an eight-minute stretch late in the third and early in the fourth, the Knicks overcame an early nine-point deficit to beat Miami 114-103 and send the Heat to its 14th loss in 21 games.

Equally problematic as Anthony’s eruption: The Heat gave up 31 second-chance points, with the Knicks hitting 15 of those 19 shots. The Knicks’ rebounding advantage wasn’t enormous (53-46), but the second chance points were killers, with the Heat limited to 13 points on second-chance opportunities.

“I can’t remember the last time we were beat up on the glass like that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We are better than that. To give up [31] on second-chance, we haven’t had a game like that all year.”

Heat guard Goran Dragic scored 29 points, his regular-season high in a Heat uniform, but was irked that the Knicks “killed us on the boards. They beat us on hustle plays. We should be more physical and tougher.”

Ahead by one at the half, the Heat shot 40 percent in the second half and overall made only 16 of 27 free throws, very much in character for a team that’s last in the league in free throw accuracy at 67 percent.

And there wasn’t nearly enough defensive resistance during a Knicks’ second-half scoring assault that included 31 points in the third and 30 in the fourth. New York missed its first 11 three-pointers but hit then hit 7 of its last 14, including three by Anthony.

Dragic was very good, hitting 11 of 17 shots, dishing out seven assists and playing through a stinger in his left shoulder. He said the shoulder is “all good” and that he will play Wednesday in Atlanta. Dragic clearly outplayed Derrick Rose, who scored 10 points (4 for 12 shooting) with three assists.

“Goran was sensational,” Spoelstra said. “He’s really in a great groove. He’s making so many plays, every single possession.”

Hassan Whiteside had 23 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Of the Knicks’ second-chance points, Whiteside said: “Sometimes, the ball goes the other way.”

There wasn’t enough from the limited remaining supporting cast. Wayne Ellington missed four of his five second-half shots, finishing 5 for 14 on a 14-point night. Rodney McGruder, expending lots of energy defending Anthony, shot 2 for 11. Derrick Williams shot 1 for 5.

Josh McRoberts shot 2 for 6 but did corral nine rebounds, including seven in the first quarter.

Anthony overcame a 2 for 8 start and erupted mostly against Williams late in the third quarter, before Spoelstra shifted Udonis Haslem on him for a brief time. When Anthony went to the bench after that stretch, he received a loud ovation from a contingent of Knicks fans in attendance. He closed 13 for 27 from the field.

“I saw him up close [as a teammate] last season and he was a great mentor,” Williams said. “When he gets [hot], it’s hard to stop it. He’s a once-in-a-generation player.”

Spoelstra had no issue with the defense on Anthony, praising McGruder’s work against him and noting: “That’s what great players do. I love the way we competed against him.”

The Knicks (12-9) also got a second-half lift from Kyle O’Quinn (who closed with 12) and Lance Thomas, who scored 11. Joakim Noah had 10 points and 10 rebounds, Kristaps Porzingis 14 and 12.

Spoelstra used all nine players available, including Tyler Johnson, Williams, Willie Reed and Haslem off the bench.

But he said the lack of available resources wasn’t a factor.

“Our guys brought it; you can fell the energy,” he said. “I like that quality about this team but [those second-chance points by the Knicks] can be extremely deflating plays.”

The five injured players — Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson, Dion Waiters, Luke Babbitt and James Johnson — will not accompany the team on a three-game road trip that begins Wednesday in Atlanta.

Richardson said his ankle injury won’t sideline him “longterm.” Waiters, the only other of the five who was available to speak Tuesday night, said he hopes to return next week.

“I hope them guys get better,” Whiteside said. “I’m not a doctor. I can’t heal those guys. It’s unfortunate. It’s what we’ve got to deal with.”

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