Despite their recent road woes against teams with winning records, the Miami Heat had an opportunity to turn their struggles away from American Airlines Arena around against one of the hottest home teams in the NBA.
They did just that.
LeBron James had 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade added 28 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the Heat used an elongated run in the fourth quarter to snap the New York Knicks' nine-game home winning streak with a 93-85 victory on Sunday, clinching the Southeast Division title in the process.
"We haven't played to our capabilities on the road since the break. It's good to come in this building to a team that's won nine straight on this floor and to get a win in a really tough game, we did a good job," James said.
Chris Bosh scored 16 points and snatched 14 rebounds for Miami, which lost eight of its prior nine road games to teams with a winning mark coming in.
The Heat outrebounded the Knicks 47-33 and swept the season series. Miami is 3 1/2 games behind Chicago for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Carmelo Anthony's 42 points weren't enough for New York, which had won four of its last five contests. J.R. Smith, who was the only other double-digit scorer for the Knicks, had 16.
"We'll be fine, we'll bounce back, we'll rebound from this and learn from it," New York head coach Mike Woodson said.
With the loss, New York moved a half-game behind idle Philadelphia for the East's No. 7 seed.
After J.R. Smith's steal and dunk gave the Knicks a 79-75 edge with 8:07 to play in the fourth, an 18-3 run propelled the Heat to victory.
Wade's runner and Bosh's layup preceded Wade's fadeaway, which gave the Heat an 81-79 advantage.
Tyson Chandler then split a pair from the line, but the Heat followed with Joel Anthony's putback and consecutive jumpers by Wade and James to make it 87-80.
Chandler's slammed one home on New York's ensuing possession before Mario Chalmers' baseline layup, Wade's runner and James' turnaround jumper sealed the win for Miami, as the Heat led 93-82 with 1:41 to go.
James, Wade and Bosh combined for 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field in the opening quarter as Miami took a 29-22 advantage into the second.
New York used a quick 8-0 spurt midway through the second to take their first lead of the contest as Iman Shumpert capped the stretch with a three-ball for a 32-31 Knicks advantage.
Anthony, who registered 14 first-quarter points, finished the opening half with 22, but Miami took a 46-44 edge into the locker room.
An 8-0 push that bridged the third and fourth quarters helped the Knicks regain the lead. Smith nailed a left-wing trey in the waning seconds of the third, Steve Novak opened the fourth with a triple and Landry Field's fastbreak layup made it 73-71 in favor of the Knicks.
This was New York's longest home winning streak since a 10-game run from Nov. 4-Dec. 22, 1997...Miami moved to 17-13 away from home this season...Anthony was 14-of-27 from the field and 12-of-15 from the foul line.