EditorsNote: Changed McGruder’s assist total to 5 in 3rd graf
Hassan Whiteside posted 22 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks as the host Miami Heat dominated the New York Knicks 110-87 on Wednesday night.
Heat guard Josh Richardson added 21 points and eight rebounds.
Rodney McGruder, Miami’s most surprising player so far this season, continued his good run with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Miami, leading by just two points at halftime, outscored New York 45-20 in the third quarter to put the game away. Miami made 75 percent of its third-quarter shots, including 8-of-10 on 3-pointers.
The game marked the return to Miami for Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. and coach David Fizdale. Hardaway’s father starred for the Heat for years. Fizdale was a Heat assistant coach from 2008-16.
Hardaway scored a season-low 14 points in 23 minutes, making 4-of-10 shots, including 2 of 5 on 3-pointers. He came into the game averaging 27 points, but did not half a second-half field goal.
The Knicks were led by Damyean Dotson, who had a team-high 20 points off the bench. Reserve Mario Hezonja added 13 points.
But Knicks starting guard Trey Burke was indicative of New York’s struggles as he shot just 1-of-10 from the floor for just three points.
Both teams have battled injuries this season. Miami on Wednesday was without guards Dion Waiters and Wayne Ellington and forwards Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Derrick Jones. New York was without star power forward Kristaps Porzingis, lottery-pick rookie Kevin Knox and veteran Courtney Lee.
New York’s bench led the way early, closing the first quarter with a 14-0 run to give the Knicks a 27-16 lead.
However, Miami rallied to take a 47-45 lead at the half. New York scored 27 points on 3-pointers in the first half (9 of 15) compared to 12 for the Heat (4 of 10). But Miami outscored the Knicks 11-0 at the foul line, 20-16 in the paint and 10-4 on fast breaks.
Miami, using an 18-2 third-quarter run, entered the fourth with a 92-65 lead, and the game was virtually over.
—Field Level Media