It had been a long time since New York Knicks fans could celebrate a playoff victory. They had an NBA postseason record of 13 straight losses spanning 11 years. So, excuse them for dropping streamers from the rafters of Madison Square Garden last night after they extended their first-round series against the Miami Heat.
The 89-87 victory likely only postponed the inevitable; Miami still leads the series 3-1 and looks to close out the Knicks at home on Wednesday. But, for New York, it did not matter.
“A great win for us, for our fans to finally get over that hump of those consecutive games that we lost. . . over those years in the playoffs,” said forward Amare Stoudemire, who returned after missing a game because of that much-talked-about left hand he cut after Game 2. He was a factor, too, with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
But it was all-star Carmelo Anthony who was the catalyst, scoring 41 points in a rousing performance. Anthony made a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 54.5 seconds left. Still, it took a Dwyane Wade missed three-pointer as time expired to give NY some playoff life.
LeBron James scored 27 for the Heat, including some spectacular late-game baskets, and Wade added 22.
The Knicks’ win was marred by the gruesome injury to starting guard Baron Davis, who dislocated his right knee while running a fast break. He is out for the remainder of the playoffs.