MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Miami’s starters got the fourth quarter off and the Heat had no trouble on the way to beating the New York Knicks 129-114 on Friday night.
Bam Adebayo scored 20 points, Duncan Robinson scored 18 for Miami on 6-for-10 shooting from 3-point range. Goran Dragic — back after missing nine games with a groin strain — also had 18.
Kendrick Nunn scored 15, Derrick Jones Jr. had 14, Tyler Herro finished with 12 and Kelly Olynyk added 10 for the Heat. Miami led by as many by 34 and posted its sixth wire-to-wire win of the season.
The Heat won easily and Jimmy Butler was called upon to take only three shots. Butler finished with nine points and eight assists in 28 minutes — his third-lightest night of the season, and after a stretch where he averaged nearly 40 minutes in Miami’s last nine games.
Bobby Portis came off New York’s bench to lead the Knicks with 30 points on 12-for-17 shooting. Mitchell Robinson scored 18 points, Marcus Morris had 15, Julius Randle added 13 and Kevin Knox finished with 11.
It was the first meeting between the clubs since the Knicks fired coach David Fizdale and replaced him with interim coach Mike Miller. Fizdale is a former Heat assistant and a close friend of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who still is disappointed about New York’s decision.
“They hired him to do a job,” Spoelstra said. “It takes time to build culture and build something, which we’ve done as well. It takes time. It takes a great deal of stability from the people you work for, which I’m so grateful we have here. I just think it stinks.”
Knicks: RJ Barrett had only two points on 1-for-10 shooting. … Reggie Bullock (cervical disk herniation) and former Heat guard Wayne Ellington (sore left Achilles) were ruled out. Allonzo Trier (concussion-like symptoms) was listed as questionable and was active but didn’t play. … Elfrid Payton reached 29 consecutive assists before finally committing his first turnover since Dec. 11; that was the longest such streak in Knicks history since play-by-plays began being charted in 2000-01.
Heat: Miami had 15 field goals in the first quarter, 14 of them assisted — and no turnovers in those 12 minutes. … Justise Winslow (strained lower back) missed his eighth consecutive game citing that issue and was unavailable for the 19th time in Miami’s last 25 games overall.
Knicks assistant coach Kaleb Canales once sought a video internship with the Heat — so he sent weekly letters to Spoelstra, a former Miami video-room guy himself, looking for help and advice. The Heat brought Canales in for an interview, but ultimately hired current Heat assistant Dan Craig instead. Spoelstra and Canales stayed in touch, and Canales eventually got an NBA job. “He’s relentless and he’s been a friend,” Spoelstra said.
The Heat led 39-20 after one quarter and 70-47 at the half. Out of the 152 Heat-Knicks games all-time, including playoffs, those margins — 19 points after one quarter, 23 at the break — tied for the second-biggest leads Miami ever had over New York at that point in a game.
Knicks: Host Milwaukee on Saturday.
Heat: Host Utah on Monday.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)