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Knicks don’t miss Melo

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MIAMI – Raymond Felton scored a season-high 27 points Thursday night, and the New York Knicks connected on 18 3-pointers to more than offset the absence of Carmelo Anthony while topping Miami for the second time this season, beating the Heat, 112-92.

Steve Novak scored 18 points, J.R. Smith added 13 and Tyson Chandler scored 13 for the Knicks, who won their fifth straight and moved 1˝ games clear of Miami for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks made eight 3-pointers in the third quarter, the most by any NBA team in any quarter this season.

Anthony sat out, one night after needing five stitches to close a cut on the middle finger of his left hand.

LeBron James nearly picked up his second straight triple-double – 31 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists – in Miami’s second straight loss. Dwyane Wade scored 13 points, Chris Bosh had 12 and Udonis Haslem added 10 for the Heat, who fell to 8-1 at home.

Rasheed Wallace scored 12 and Jason Kidd added 11 for the Knicks, who finished 18 for 44 from 3-point range.

It was tied at 53 at the half, and the third quarter changed everything for the Knicks. Kidd made a 3-pointer, Felton followed with consecutive 3s and New York was up by nine with 9:42 left in the period and the Heat seemed stunned.

New York was only getting started.

In all, it was an eight-3-pointers-in-eight-minutes barrage that decided this one, with five different players getting in on the act for the Knicks. Smith hit the last of them with 3:25 left in the third, and a pair of free throws by Chandler moments later gave New York – again, without its best player – an 18-point lead on the road against the reigning NBA champions.

There was one run late in the third, a 13-3 burst by Miami that got the Heat within eight in the final seconds of the quarter. It was the last – and really, the only – gasp for Miami, as the Knicks just kept firing away in the fourth.

Felton finished 10 for 20 from the floor, adding seven assists and four rebounds. He was 6 for 10 from beyond the arc, Novak was 4 for 9, while Smith and Kidd were each 3 for 8 from long range.

Miami had two field goals in the first seven minutes of the final quarter, and when New York decided to put it away, it was with 3-pointers, of course. Novak made one for a 100-84 lead, another to stretch the margin to 19 and then Chandler got all alone for a dunk to push the lead to 109-88 and send most of the building’s occupants to the exits.

Smith hit a 3-pointer with 3:04 left to play, gestured toward the Heat bench, and the benches were cleared moments later.

NOTES: Haslem started and made his first five shots, his first 10-point first half since March 2010. ... Anthony warmed up before the game, but seemed to have trouble catching passes. ... It was Miami’s first home loss since Game 5 of last season’s Eastern Conference finals. ... The Knicks have outscored Miami by 20 points in each of their first two meetings this season.

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