By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Miami center Chris Bosh capped off the "finest day ever" by rushing back to New York to help his team wallop the Knicks 87-70 on Thursday in a game the Heat dedicated to his newborn son Jackson.
Bosh had a whirlwind 21 hours of smiles.
After he got word from his wife Adrienne that she had gone into labor, Bosh hopped on a plane at about 1:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday to fly from New York to Miami.
He arrived just in time for the birth of his first child who entered the world around 4:00 a.m.
"I barely made it," he told reporters at his locker after scoring nine points and pulling down 10 rebounds in the victory that gave the Heat a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series. "But I made it.
Bosh said after exulting in the experience and making sure mother and son were doing fine, he caught a few hours of sleep before boarding another plane back to New York.
Battling New York's infamous rush hour traffic after his return flight, Bosh arrived at Madison Square Garden an hour before tip-off.
"There were 60 minutes on the clock and the coach was talking," he said about his entrance into the locker room. "I got taped and joined the team in warm-ups. I shot a few lay-ups."
Playing the game was a snap, the sleep-deprived Bosh said.
"That's the easy part. That's my job," he said.
LeBron James, who led Miami with 32 points in the victory, paid tribute to Bosh's mission to get back for the game.
"It meant everything to us," James said. "We give him a lot of credit for doing that and showing his commitment to this team.
"We dedicated the game to Jackson Bosh. Even if his eyes were closed he was still watching his dad try to perform at a high level."
Bosh said he could not think of a better day spent.
"The finest day ever," he said.
(Reporting By Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Ian Ransom)