In what was a tragic and agonizing week for the city of New York and the tri-state area, the Knicks gave people a reason to smile on Friday.
After their scheduled season opener was postponed in Brooklyn due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Carmelo Anthony led a solid, all-around New York Knicks performance, scoring 30 points to help give the hosts a 104-84 blowout victory over the defending champion Miami Heat.
"Over the last couple of days we didn't even know if this game was going to be played," Anthony said. "Then before the game we look up and they said they canceled the (New York City) Marathon. We had to go out there. Today was something to give New York a couple hours of some peace."
Anthony grabbed 10 rebounds and came away with two steals. His scoring output was a game-high, but he got a lot of help from his teammates, as five other Knicks scored in double-figures.
Offseason acquisitions Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd both started in the backcourt for New York and helped facilitate the offense. Felton dropped in 14 points and dished out nine assists, while Kidd drained 3-of-5 from 3-point range, finishing with 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Steve Novak, last season's leader in 3-point field goal percentage, finished with 17 points and converted five of the Knicks' 19 makes from 3-point range. Off the bench, J.R. Smith contributed 11 points and six assists for the Knicks, who lost in five games to Miami in the first round of the playoffs last season.
After winning their season opener on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics, the Heat found themselves trailing by double-digits most of the night on Friday. LeBron James scored a team-high 23 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists. Dwyane Wade shot 7-of-10 from the field and scored 15 points, while Chris Bosh finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
"They played well, they fed off not only the city, the fans, everything that's been going on," James said. "It was a good win for them."
Behind stingy defense and sharp shooting, the Knicks led by as many as 18 points in the first quarter. Anthony lit up the Heat for 16 in the period, which included four 3-pointers, draining the last as time expired in the quarter to give New York a 33-17 lead.
Anthony started at the power forward position, filling in for an injured Amare Stoudemire, who is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks after undergoing a debridement procedure on his left knee.
The Heat cut the deficit to 12 following a dunk by Bosh, but the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Tyson Chandler, responded at the other end with a jam of his own. The Knicks center, who has been bothered by a sore knee, finished the night with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Miami, which trailed by double-digits the rest of the game after going down 23-12 on a Smith layup, could not keep up with the Knicks' scoring output. New York shot 42.9 percent from the field for the night and converted an incredible 52.8 percent of its 3-pointers.
Knicks forward Rasheed Wallace checked into the game late in fourth quarter, his first in game-action since retiring following the 2010 NBA Finals. He made a 3-pointer to account for the final margin ... Miami lost to New York for just the third time in the last 13 meetings ... The Knicks will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday while the Heat will play at home against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.