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ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Knicks 112, Heat 92

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BEST OF LAST NIGHT: Udonis Haslem's 10 points in the first half was the faintest of silver linings in an otherwise retched game for the Heat.

WORST OF THE NIGHT: Where to begin? The Heat's perimeter defense was at times either slow or lazy or both one game after an embarrrassing loss to the Washington Wizards. Where the loss to the Wizards felt more like a fluke than anything else, Thursday's loss to the Knicks was an outright indictment of the poor defense the Heat has been playing recently.

The Knicks had 18 three-pointers. Guard Raymond Felton, who was worlds better than Dwyane Wade, had a career-high six three-pointers. Steve Novak 4 of 9 from three-point range. Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith each had three three-pointers.

Nearly has bad as the Heat's defense was the shooting of Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Bosh was 3 of 12 from the field and entered the fourth quarter 1 of 10 shooting. Dwyane Wade was 3 of 13 with four turnovers and one assist.

STAT OF THE NIGHT: The Knicks attempted 44 three-pointers and had 46 rebounds.

LINE OF THE NIGHT: Raymond Felton was 10 of 20, including 6 of 10 from three-point range, for 27 points. He had seven assists, three turnovers, four rebounds, two steals and was 1 of 1 from the free-throw line.

TWEET OF THE NIGHT comes from J.R. Smith, who had 13 points in 23 minutes.

Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 11.56.06 AM

NIGHTLY ANALYSIS
LeBron talked a lot about communication on defense after the game. As in, there's not enough of it. It's not the Heat's only problem right now but it's a good place to start. For Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, the problem is more about effort and a lack of commitment to his defensive principles. You could call the game just another fluke—the Knicks made 18 three-pointers and no what that holds up in a seven-game series—but New York had 19 three-pointers in the first meeting.

"We've got to find a way to get better defensively," James said. "We communicate...sometimes. We've got to communicate all the time. We're so used to everyone being in the right spot that when something breaks down it's like, what happened?"

I followed up on LeBron's concerns about a lack of communication and whether or not it had something to do specifically with the Heat's rotating defense.

"We just have to communicate more," James said. "It's not a lack of trust. In a ball game versus very good teams, you have to over communicate. Like New York, they have so many triggers, they have so many guys that can make plays, that you have to over communicate to help, so if you do make a mistake, you can talk your way through it.

"Right now, I'm no saying we're not communicating. We've just not over communicating versus really good teams."

THEY SAID IT
LEBRON JAMES 
"We'll be fine but we can't just act like what happened tonight or in Washington or some of the games that we've won that we probably should not have won—we can't just act like, Ok, we made those things happen."

"We didn't even say that the Washington game was 'just a loss.' We didn't play well and finally the shots that we're accustomed to making, we didn't make in the fourth quarter. Ray [Allen] had three open threes. Mike Miller had two. I had two. I missed a layup. I missed two free throws. We've been able to ball ourselves out with those shots."

ERIK SPOELSTRA
"This game was played like a shootout but in the wrong direction for us."

DWYANE WADE on the Knicks hitting eight three-pointers on 14 possessions
“Our job is to make them take tough shots, they made them.  There is really nothing you can do, there is no scheme you can do once that happens.  We will always look at film and understand that we can be better as a team.  When they’re making shots like that with guys in their faces, that is what you tell your kids to do, they raise, you put your arm up and make them take a tough [shot], they make it, you take the ball out and you try to go to the other end and you execute. 

"I didn’t think we executed great tonight on the offensive end, the ball didn’t move as crisp as it has.  When they score like that sometimes you have to make it a shootout.”

CHRIS BOSH
“I try to really forget about these games because they don’t really do anything for me but motivate me.”  

NIGHTLY NOTES
—It was the first loss for the Heat at home this season.

—The Heat's 92 points marked the first time the Heat has been held to fewer than 100 points at home this season.

—New York's eight three-pointers in the third quarter set a record for most three-pointers by an opponent at AmericanAirlines Arena.

 

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