The Knicks made it something other than a blowout loss, and that's nice. In fact, after a huge second quarter filled with tight defense, continued excellence by Carmelo Anthony, and a long-awaited three-point outburst from Jason Kidd, the Knicks were up double-digits and a run away from an insurmountable lead.
The second half sucked, though. Melo went cold, then didn't get many late touches (or free throws) while shooters failed to produce around him. New York's previously timely rotations faltered, allowing LeBron James a few easy looks. Not that he appeared to need them. And after a lineup with Amar'e Stoudemire made a pretty solid stand in the mid-fourth, the Knicks appeared to fall apart offensively without him.
I foresaw a much graver loss and still regard the Knicks as pretty solid trouble for the Heat. Actually pulling off a third win, though, would take more jump-shooting, foul-drawing and defense than the Knicks mustered this afternoon. Too bad. Short recap coming later.