|New York @ Miami|
|83 - 101|
Dwyane Wade ? Shaquille O'Neal? All they contributed was applause from the bench.
Playing without their two All-Stars, the Heat scored a franchise-record 27 consecutive points Monday night and beat the New York Knicks 101-83.
"I had a great time watching the guys play," said Wade, nursing a sore ankle. "Their confidence was sky-high."
Miami raced to a 29-3 lead after 8 1/2 minutes. The Knicks missed 10 consecutive shots as their 3-2 lead became a 26-point deficit, while the Heat started 13-for-19 and outscored New York 14-0 in the paint at the outset.
"It was like the court was tilted," New York's David Lee said. "They were running downhill, and we were struggling to go uphill."
The Heat did it with a makeshift lineup. Wade decided shortly before the game to rest the left ankle he sprained Sunday in a loss to Dallas, and O'Neal missed his 35th consecutive game as he nears a return from knee surgery.
Did the Knicks take the short-handed Heat lightly?
"We don't have the luxury to take anybody lightly," New York's Quentin Richardson said. "We're not that good."
The Knicks cut the deficit to 15 points by halftime and briefly to six in the fourth quarter. Williams sank a pair of 26-footers late to prevent a collapse by Miami.
"It's always tough without D-Wade and Shaq, but the NBA's not going to give us a break," said Williams, who scored 20 points.
Kapono fueled the early run and scored 22 points. Udonis Haslem added 19 points and 10 rebounds. Gary Payton had 13 assists, his highest total since joining the Heat in 2005.
The win left the defending NBA champions three games below .500 at the halfway point in the regular season.
"We're just tired of losing," center Alonzo Mourning said. "We're tired of waiting on people. We can't wait on Shaq or D-Wade. Whoever is out there has to step up and play, or we're going to dig a bigger hole."
Eddy Curry scored 26 points and Jamal Crawford 23 for the Knicks, who trailed by 28 after one quarter - the second-largest such deficit in franchise history.
New York's Stephon Marbury sat out the second half because of a sore left knee. Marbury said the injury wasn't serious.
The Knicks' past three games had been decided at the finish, but not this one. Kapono's third 3-pointer of the opening period put New York behind 21-3, and Haslem's short jumper made it 29-3 before Curry's layup ended the Heat run.
The crowd offered a mock cheer for New York's first basket in more than eight minutes.
The Heat kept hitting: Williams sank a 3-pointer with two seconds left to put them ahead 40-12 after one period. The point total was the highest in a quarter this season for the defending NBA champions.
The only larger deficit for the Knicks after one quarter was on Feb. 20, 1980, when they fell behind Indiana 42-12, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Haslem, who missed his first eight shots Sunday, went 6-for-6 in the period.
"If we could bottle this one, we'd keep it," Heat coach Ron Rothstein said. "The first quarter was flawless basketball."
New York cut the deficit to 48-30, then 56-41 at halftime. The Heat committed turnovers on four of their first six possessions of the final quarter, and Curry's three-point play made it 79-73 with 8:10 left.
The Knicks got no closer. Williams sank back-to-back 3-pointers from at least a step behind the arc for a 91-79 lead.
"I didn't even notice where I was," he said.
"We cut it to six, and then Jason Williams hit two shots from half court," Lee said.
The Heat broke the franchise record of 26 consecutive points set against Golden State on March 24, 1995. ... Miami tied a franchise record for field goals in a quarter with 17 in the first. ... The Heat played home games on back-to-back nights for the first time since February 2004 and the 10th time in franchise history. ... The Knicks fell to 2-24 when trailing at halftime.