Heat victory pushes Knicks closer to edge


LeBron James couldn’t wake up Sunday. He was sluggish when his alarm went off at 8 a.m. and still in a funk when the Miami Heat and New York Knicks tipped off five hours later.

He eventually got into form, just in time to perhaps doom the Knicks’ playoff chances.

James scored 38 points and the Heat survived an NBA-record 22 3-point attempts from New York’s J.R. Smith in a 102-91 victory that kept Miami atop the Eastern Conference standings.

“You do your job and you live with the results,” James said. “We lived with the result of J.R. making some of those bombs.”

Chris Bosh added 14 points and Ray Allen had 12 for the Heat (53-23), who are a full game ahead of Indiana (53-25) and two up in the loss column in the East race. The Pacers lost at home to Atlanta later Sunday night.

Smith was 11-for-28 from the floor, 10-for-22 from beyond the arc, and took 10 3s in the fourth quarter alone while Carmelo Anthony didn’t attempt a single shot in the period.

The single-game mark was previously held by Damon Stoudemire, who hoisted 21 3s on April 15, 2005.

“It’s not really been a goal of mine,” Smith said. “I saw the open 3 and tried to take them. I had to take advantage.”

Smith finished with 32 for the Knicks, who got 14 from Raymond Felton and 13 from Anthony on 4-for-17 shooting. Anthony has been bothered by a sore right shoulder, but played 44 minutes.

“Melo is still hurting,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “I couldn’t rest him again tonight. That second half, he was giving us what he’s got.”

A bad day got worse for New York when the Hawks-Pacers game went final. The Knicks (33-45) are two games behind the Hawks in the race for the final playoff spot, three in the loss column. And New York has only four games left.

“Our fate is almost now in Atlanta’s hands,” Anthony said. “It’s tough. . . . My fate is in somebody else’s hands.”

Trail Blazers 100, Pelicans 94

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 18 rebounds and the Trail Blazers clinched their first playoff appearance in three seasons.

Suns 122, Thunder 115

In Phoenix, Kevin Durant scored 38 points, his 41st consecutive game of 25 or more, but the Suns got 26 points from Goran Dragic and 24 from Gerald Green.

Hawks 107, Pacers 88

In Indianapolis, Jeff Teague scored 25 points in Atlanta’s rout of reeling Indiana, which was held to a franchise-low 23 points.

Rockets 130, Nuggets 125 (OT)

In Houston, James Harden had 32 points and Chandler Parsons scored eight points in overtime to lift the Rockets.

Golden State 130, Jazz 102

In Oakland, Klay Thompson scored 33 points, Stephen Curry added 31 points and 16 assists, and Golden State rolled past Utah.

Spurs 112, Grizzlies 92

In San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard matched his career high with 26 points, Manu Ginobili had a season-high 26 and the Spurs eased past Memphis.

Clippers 120, Lakers 97

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul scored 23 points apiece, and the Clippers hung another rout on the Lakers to take three of four games this season from their beleaguered Staples Center co-tenants.

Mavericks 93, Kings 91

In Sacramento, Monta Ellis scored eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter.