As Carmelo Anthony leaned in and hit his fourth three pointer with seconds to go in the first quarter, it already appeared that the New York Knicks had the game in hand. Anthony finished the first quarter with 16 points as the Knicks rode a 16-point first quarter lead to a blowout 104-84 season-opening victory over the Miami Heat on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
With some, including Heat G Dwyane Wade, questioning whether the game should be played in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Knicks fed off an emotional capacity crowd all night long. Raymond Felton, oft-criticized for being out of shape last season in Portland, hit two of the first three baskets for the Knicks, before ceding to the 'Melo show, as Anthony scored the 16 in the first quarter and 30 overall and added ten rebounds. Steve Novak finished with 17, including five three pointers, and Felton netted 14 with nine assists. The Knicks hit 19 three pointers and had assists on 27-or-36 baskets. New York was also dominant on the boards with 13 offensive rebounds.
Defensively, the Knicks forced 21 Heat turnovers. Five of those were by LeBron James, who finished with 23 points and five rebounds. Rashard Lewis added 16 and Dwyane Wade 15 for the Heat, who were unable to get the game back into single digits after New York's first quarter barrage.
New York returns to Madison Square Garden for a noon tip-off with the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost to Denver in their season opener on Wednesday night.