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With Smith on bench, Knicks beat Heat 102-92

Woodson Takes A Stand By Benching Smith

NEW YORK (AP) -- They don't look like the lowly losers of last month. The New York Knicks are playing as if it's last season - when they even had mighty Miami's number.

Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, Andrea Bargnani had 19, and the Knicks beat the Heat 102-92 on Thursday night for their season-high third straight victory.

"You can tell it's different than one month ago," Bargnani said. "Our faces are different, our body language is different."

Raymond Felton had 13 points and 14 assists for the Knicks, who seized control with a 16-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters and beat the Heat for the fourth time in five meetings over the last two seasons.

New York was second to Miami in the Eastern Conference last season when it won the series 3-1, but there was little reason to suggest until recently the Knicks were ready to compete with the NBA champions this season. New York is 13-22 but has won four of five in 2014, with victories over San Antonio and Miami - last season's NBA finalists.

"It wasn't going to last all season like that," Felton said. "We were just going through a slump, now I feel like we're out of it."

With Tyson Chandler out sick and J.R. Smith stuck on the bench as an apparent punishment, Amare Stoudemire had 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

LeBron James scored 32 points for the Heat, who played without injured starters Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier and didn't get much from Chris Bosh, who was held to six points on 3-of-10 shooting.

"All I know about this game is they outplayed us and they earned that win," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Dwyane Wade scored 23 points but missed all six free throws after sitting out the morning shootaround as Miami had its three-game winning streak snapped.

"I only missed six," Wade said. "I didn't miss 20. It wasn't that damn bad."

Smith didn't play after the reigning Sixth Man of the Year's latest trouble, a $50,000 fine when he attempted to untie an opponent's sneaker for the second straight game, after he'd been warned by the NBA not to do it again. Knicks coach Mike Woodson criticized Smith's behavior during a radio interview Wednesday but said before the game he wouldn't discuss Smith any longer.

But the benching did the speaking for him. Smith often stood far away from the huddle during timeouts, but his teammates sure didn't miss him on the court.

Woodson again wouldn't comment after the game, but no Knicks player, not even Smith, seemed to know he wouldn't play.

"I didn't know anything about it," Smith said. "I expected to do the same thing I always do. I did my same routine and it didn't happen."

Though the roster is different and the results are way worse, Woodson said before the game he believed the things that worked so well against the Heat last season could still do so, and for this night he was right as New York shot 54 percent from the field.

"We're moving forward," Anthony said. "We're taking strides. We're getting better. We're learning from our mistakes we've made in the past and we're going to continue to build on this and see what happens."

The Knicks surged into the lead late in the third. Bargnani answered back quickly after James blew by him for a dunk, converting a three-point play to tie it and ignite a 9-0 spurt that helped New York lead 75-71 entering the final 12 minutes.

New York ran off seven in a row to open the fourth, making it 82-71 on Stoudemire's basket, and there was never really a run for the Heat, who couldn't get closer than five from there.

"They played a great game," James said. "They made some timely shots."

The Heat were opening a six-game trip, but the start of it couldn't be more convenient. They are just a few miles away Friday to visit Brooklyn in a game in which players from both teams will wear nicknames on their jerseys.

But the best they can do is salvage a New York split, even after shooting 54 percent in this one.

Miami scored the final seven points of the first quarter to take a 27-21 lead. The Knicks scored 11 in a row early in the second, but Rashard Lewis made two 3-pointers from the corner in the final 1:11 to help the Heat grab a 48-43 halftime edge.

Notes: James played in his 800th career game. ... The Heat return to New York on Feb. 1, the night before the Super Bowl just across the river in New Jersey.

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Caponie January 11 2014 at 2:09 PM

Hey AOL, J.R.Smith is NOT and never will be a star. Get a clue idiots.

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donllivisolo January 11 2014 at 1:28 PM

He could work for THE HARLEM GLOBE TROTTERS and get away with it!!!donllivi

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ROCCO 'D' FRANCO January 11 2014 at 1:14 PM

Let's talk about these primadona's.................The NBA is a different game then it was when Alex English, Kahreem, Bird, Magic played. These mulit-millionare immature spoiled man-children bore me. The NBA created this silly enviorment and we are seeing the results. Pouting, imoral behavior, mercinary attitudes and selfish self centered playing. I gave up my season tickets long ago!

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beverlyamy1 January 11 2014 at 12:58 PM

really? im thinkin we wont see the knicks in june.lmao.

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paulvaleri January 11 2014 at 12:26 PM

Smith is just like Rodrigues, a parasite unworthy of being part of a professional team. Ship them both off to Timbuctu!

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JERRY January 11 2014 at 12:22 PM

If this was baseball, they could send JR Smith back to the minors where he needs to be.

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gerald01612 January 11 2014 at 12:18 PM

My say is that if I have to join facebook to comment on Huff postings then I will no longer participate.

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wlh1923 January 11 2014 at 12:41 PM

Many thousands of us have quit Huff Post as a result of the policy. I was a long time Huff Post user and contributor, having been a member for 3 years and many thousands of posts. When the policy change was announced that users would have to verify their identity (although long time members were grandfathered) I didn't have a problem with that. Then suddenly mid-day December 10, 2013 I received a notification that I would have to re-sign up? Huh? I was supposed to be grandfathered. Okay, no problem. Go to register again and find out it can ONLY be done through facebook. While Huff Post did and does continue to claim there are exceptions to the policy that allow you to register if you verify your identity and email address that is entirely a lie. Huff Post will not and does not respond to correspondence and requests and instead points you to a "commonly asked questions" site for guidance. Huff Post will NOT respond to individual requests.

Okay, simple enough, start a fake facebook account with a fake name and register that way. Tried that. You will find that you can't use your regular computer for that because of facebook's NSA like tracking allows it to detect who you actually are. Even if you start with a brand new email address and a fake name facebook (because of tracking cookies and other infiltration) simply re-direct your correspondence back to whatever facebook account you have on that particular computer. You will also learn the astonishing way that facebook tracks you. Anyway, like you, I refuse to use facebook and I am done with Huffington Post.

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Blackbird Cycles January 11 2014 at 2:12 PM

Yeah I know, Facetrack is just a HUGE data base that WILL be used against you in the future. Profiles are being built that will neatly catagorize the population. You don't believe it? Wait and see cupcake! Run screaming from facebook.

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J.D. January 11 2014 at 12:13 PM


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kainnyc January 11 2014 at 12:02 PM

The Knicks are a wreck; they have no clue. After Carmello, JR is their best offenive player and he's also probably their second or third defensive player, so get rid of him, in fact get rid if everybody, start with a blank sheet but that must incude the owners,

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JERRY January 11 2014 at 12:20 PM

Your idea is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

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uh1n167 January 11 2014 at 11:48 AM

JR is done they should just let him ride off into the sunset bringing the teams motivation and hindering the leadership was once a dynamic player it sad to see how low he has sunk just taking up space poof pow be gone

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