The Miami Heat look to make it a winning four-game road trip when they visit the New York Knicks on Wednesday. The Heat captured the first two contests of the trek to run their overall winning streak to three games before suffering a 108-97 loss to Cleveland on Tuesday.
Miami played porous defense in the first half of the setback, allowing 75 points en route to a 26-point halftime deficit. Point guard Goran Dragic scored just seven points after being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for producing three straight 20-point performances during the winning streak. New York has dropped three straight games after falling 103-91 to Portland on Monday. Star power forward Kristaps Porzingis (back) scored 22 points in his return from a one-game absence and is averaging 24.3 over his past four contests.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Miami), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE HEAT (10-10): Coach Erik Spoelstra stated after Tuesday’s loss that “not a lot of positives come out of this game,” and he was most happy about his team playing again the next night. “This is the life we chose and the schedule they gave us,” Spoelstra told reporters. “We’re going to look forward to it, and (the Knicks) are a team that has been playing very well. They caught everybody’s attention with how well they’ve been playing.” Shooting guard Dion Waiters scored a team-best 21 points against Cleveland two nights after recording just seven versus Chicago on 2-of-10 shooting.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (10-10): Center Enes Kanter (back) is slated to return after missing three games, and he certainly created a ruckus while sitting on the bench Monday. Kanter told teammates to go fight some Portland players and offered to pay the fines of anyone penalized by the league - and both Michael Beasley and Frank Ntilikina were given technical fouls a short time later after getting into a skirmish with Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic. “The front office told me I cannot say stuff like that,” Kanter told reporters after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s a learning process. This is my second language. When I say fight, it means compete, play hard, compete. You get a tech, you get a tech. They told me I cannot say stuff like that. I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry, NBA, my fault.”
1. The Heat have prevailed in each of their last six visits to Madison Square Garden.
2. Miami rookie backup C Bam Adebayo scored a season-best 19 points against Cleveland on 7-of-7 shooting.
3. New York SG Tim Hardaway Jr. is 10-for-30 from the field over his last two games.
PREDICTION: Knicks 112, Heat 108