National Basketball Association
New York at Miami
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
The New York Knicks are already eliminated from playoff contention but are starting to play well and could have an impact on the race down the stretch. The Knicks will try to knock off one Eastern Conference playoff contender when they open a stretch with four of five on the road by visiting the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
New York dropped nine straight and 17 of 18 beginning on January 31 to fall out of the race but showed some fight against a pair of lottery-bound clubs while beating Charlotte and Chicago by a total of 41 points in the last two contests. "It means the world because it just doesn't feel good to lose," Knicks point guard Trey Burke told reporters after a 110-92 win over the Bulls on Monday. "Guys love the game. It don't feel good to lose. It don't feel good to go home after a loss, racking up losses after losses. When you win it's your reward for the hard work you put in, your reward to how far you've come." The Heat needed two overtimes to earn a 149-141 home win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday as they set a franchise single-game record for scoring. "That's basketball at its peak," Miami center Kelly Olynyk told reporters. "It was so fun to be a part of, so fun to play and honestly coming out on top makes the night so much more enjoyable to us -- what it meant to us in terms of our push to the playoffs and the standings. Also (to do it) in front of our fans, to hold down home court, is big as well."
7:30 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FS Sun (Miami)ABOUT THE KNICKS (26-45):
New York is seeing what it has in its rotation of young guards and is encouraged by the recent play of rookie Frank Ntilikina. The 19-year-old is 4-of-8 from 3-point range over the last two games and totaled 23 points in those contests after going scoreless in a loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. "When I'm aggressive like that it opens up a lot more for me and for my teammates also," Ntilikina told reporters. "So, I know it's only a matter of time how I'm going to be and what impact I'm going to give on that court. I know I can do a lot of great things here. So that will be my job, every time, to work hard and to make myself become the best player I can become."
ABOUT THE HEAT (38-33):
Miami is sitting in the No. 7 spot in the East and is poised to move up after the frontcourt duo of James Johnson and Olynyk combined for 61 points on 24-of-33 shooting on Monday, including 8-of-12 from 3-point range. "Kelly is a unique player," All-Star guard Goran Dragic told the Miami Herald. "He can do a lot of stuff. He's got that unorthodox game a little bit. But he can pass, he can shoot, he can put the ball on the floor. I don't know how he takes a shot, every time he drives he kind of stops. That's a unique skill to have. It's not easy." Johnson is averaging 17.8 points over the last five games after posting 7.2 in the previous five contests.BUZZER BEATERS
1. Knicks C Enes Kanter needed just 18 minutes on Monday to record a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
2. Heat SG Wayne Ellington scored 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting Monday after slumping to four points on 1-of-7 in the previous game.
3. Miami earned a 107-103 home win over New York in overtime in the most recent meeting on Jan. 5.PREDICTION:
Heat 116, Knicks 109
Stats and Records