Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/11

Game 1: Sunday, November 11th
Game 2: Saturday, January 19th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 12th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 26th

Knicks 91

(19-46, 7-25 away)

Heat 88

(11-52, 6-26 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:30 PM ET, March 12, 2008

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 24 20 28 1991
    MIA 24 21 20 2388

    Top Performers

    New York: Z. Randolph 19 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Miami: R. Davis 27 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast

    Knicks almost blow lead, but top lowly Heat to end losing streak

    MIAMI (AP) -- Jamal Crawford doomed the Miami Heat again.

    Crawford scored 23 points, including a 3-pointer that stopped a huge Miami run in the final minutes, and the New York Knicks wasted most of a 14-point fourth-quarter lead before beating the Heat 91-88 on Wednesday night and snapping a seven-game losing streak.

    In his last five games against Miami, Crawford is averaging 26 points -- and he came up biggest when the Knicks needed him most.

    "Still a win. We'll take it," Crawford said. "We need all the wins we can get right now. We're not going to the playoffs, but we're going to try to finish strong."

    Zach Randolph had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Nate Robinson scored 17 points for New York, which won on the one-year anniversary of the Knicks announcing that coach Isiah Thomas earned a contract extension because the team had shown "evident progress."

    The Knicks are 23-61 since.

    Still, that's light years better than the Heat, who lost for the 33rd time in 36 games and extended the NBA's worst record to 11-52. Ricky Davis led Miami with 27 points, Shawn Marion added 15 points and 17 rebounds and the Heat raced out to a 14-2 lead, but that slipped away by the time the first quarter was over.

    Miami used an 11-0 run to get within 81-79 with 4:34 left, but couldn't finish off the comeback bid and fell to 3-11 in games decided by three points or less. The combined margin of defeat in the last three Heat games: seven points.

    Maybe that will dispel the Miami-is-tanking theory.

    "The last three games have all been losses. They've been hard-earned losses," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "People on talk shows ridicule them, call them names, people in the media, and they're out there busting their tails."

    The Knicks seemed in full control after Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 9:58 left, putting his team up 79-65.

    Even though it seemed as if the majority of those in the building were pulling for the Knicks, Miami wasn't finished.

    Chris Quinn hit a 3-pointer, added a 20-footer on the next Heat possession, and suddenly, Miami was on its way to what became an 11-0 run. Bobby Jones -- signed to a 10-day contract earlier Wednesday and playing for his fourth NBA team since Dec. 26 -- scored on a putback, and Mark Blount's jumper with 4:34 to play drew the Heat within 81-79.

    "One week, I'm in the NBA, staying at the Four Seasons," Bobby Jones said of his season-long basketball odyssey. "The next week, I'm in the D-League, sharing a hotel room with another dude."

    But Crawford ended the Knicks' 4 1/2-minute drought with another 3-pointer with 4:09 left, restoring a five-point cushion for New York. And that wound up being enough -- barely -- even though the Knicks shot 28 percent (5-for-18) in the final quarter.

    Robinson made two free throws to give the Knicks a 90-83 lead, but Jason Williams made a 3-pointer, the Heat forced a turnover and Davis made two free throws with 9.5 seconds left, getting Miami within 90-88.

    Crawford hit one of two free throws, and the Heat didn't have a time-out to advance the ball. Williams' 3-pointer with 2 seconds left was short, and the Knicks left happy.

    "We got stops and guys hit shots," Randolph said. "Everybody contributed tonight. Everybody stepped it up."

    Williams finished with 15 points and Blount had 10 points and 12 rebounds for Miami. Fred Jones scored 12 for the Knicks.

    And now, Riley will resume his college tour.

    He leaves Thursday for a three-day trip to several major college basketball tournaments, including the Big 12, where he'll see Kansas State forward Michael Beasley, the presumptive No. 1 pick assuming the freshman, as widely expected, enters this year's draft.

    Riley, who earlier this week saw Indiana's Eric Gordon -- another would-be lottery pick if he leaves after one college season -- expects to be back in Miami for the Heat game with the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday evening.

    Assistant coach Ron Rothstein will coach the Heat when they face the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

    Game notes

    The Knicks missed 10 of their first 11 shots. ... Thomas said no decision has been made on whether forward Eddy Curry, who has torn cartilage in his right knee, will need surgery. ... Former Heat guard Smush Parker signed Wednesday with the Los Angeles Clippers, his sixth NBA team in five seasons. ... Discount rack? Plenty of Shaquille O'Neal and Antoine Walker replica Heat jerseys were for sale in the concourse, $20 apiece.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 88
    FGM-FGA 35-82 (.427) 36-86 (.419)
    3PM-3PA 6-18 (.333) 8-22 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 15-19 (.789) 8-17 (.471)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-13 12-26
    Assists 16 14
    Turnovers 7 12
    Steals 4 5
    Blocks 5 2
    Fast Break Points 6 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 18 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 14 12

    Top Performers

    New York
    Zach Randolph Randolph
    Points: 19
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Ricky Davis Davis
    Points: 27
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0