Knicks’ Season Ends in a Game 5 Rout by the Heat

Stoudemire’s playoff exit came early — the result of a sixth foul — but his star teammates soon followed Wednesday night when another postseason ended in despair. The Knicks were never as good as their hype, and never a match for the , who closed out the first-round series in five games, with a 106-94 victory at American Airlines Arena.

Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony been partners for two playoff runs. Both have ended in the first round, with one victory to show for it.

“Next year, we’ll be better,” Anthony vowed. “We’ll be much better as a unit. Not just me and Amar’e, but as a team, as a group, we’ll be much better.”

The Heat, seeking their second straight trip to the finals, will play the Indiana Pacers in the second round.

In uniting Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler, the Knicks were attempting to match the Heat’s , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. But this series exposed the folly of that vision. Miami was more talented, more polished, more mature and more unified in its purpose.

The Heat kept the ball moving, kept the Knicks on their heels and never relented. The Knicks responded with solo efforts and contested desperation shots. Chandler, who helped the Dallas Mavericks beat Miami for the title last June, was the most reflective in defeat, citing the Knicks’ failures to work together.

“We have to elevate our teammates,” he said. “I think we have to do a better job of getting everybody involved, getting everybody playing at a high level and get everybody focused on what we’re trying to accomplish.”

He added, tellingly, “When you play as individuals you don’t get very far.”

Chandler said he was not necessarily referring to this series, but it fit the description. The Knicks averaged an anemic 12.6 assists per game, to Miami’s 19. They shot .417 from the field, to the Heat’s .456.

And the offense was dominated by two players: Anthony and J. R. Smith combined to take 200 of the Knicks’ 367 shots, and both shot poorly. Anthony converted 41.9 percent of his attempts, and Smith 31.6 percent, often short-circuiting the offense.

“I think I did a poor job with my shot selection,” said Smith, who was 3 for 15 in the finale. “Melo did what he could.”

Anthony followed his 41-point Game 4 with a 35-point effort in Game 5, but the Heat defense — led by James and Shane Battier — kept him bottled up and frustrated for most of the series.

Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra called Anthony “as prolific a scorer as there is,” saying, “he deserves the respect we gave him, which was the whole kitchen sink.”

James (29 points), Wade (19) and Bosh (19) took turns converting spectacular dunks, and Miami repeatedly took advantage in transition, scoring 20 points on the fast break.

Anthony tried to rally the Knicks with 11 points in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks never got the deficit into single digits. Miami held a double-digit edge for the final 16 minutes and led by as many as 19 points.

Thus ended a wild, stressful, often-dizzying, frequently tumultuous post-lockout season in which the Knicks seemed to change identities every two weeks, and changed coaches along the way.

“We played a great team,” said Coach Mike Woodson, who led the Knicks to a late resurgence after replacing Mike D’Antoni. “Our guys got a short taste of what playoff basketball is about.”

The franchise will now turn its attention to retaining Woodson. Discussions on a new contract are already under way.

Although their stars are locked up, the Knicks face decisions on several key rotation players. Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields will be restricted free agents. Smith is expected to opt out of his contract. Steve Novak, Jared Jeffries, Baron Davis and Mike Bibby are unrestricted free agents.

The Knicks’ 89-87 victory in Game 4 ended an 11-year playoff drought, but they are still seeking their first series victory since 2000. After two postseasons together, Anthony and Stoudemire are 1-8, doing nothing to quell concerns that they are a poor fit.

Stoudemire said all the Knicks need is stability, in the lineup and in the coach’s chair.

“We haven’t had no consistency the past two years,” he said, referring to frequent roster overhauls. “I’ve been on maybe three to four different teams since I’ve been here.”

Asked if he and Anthony can succeed together, Stoudemire said: “There’s no doubt. I think it will work. Just have to see what Coach Woodson’s going to do to make it work.”

Stoudemire, again playing with heavy padding on his stitched-up left hand, battled foul trouble and finished with just 14 points. He picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter, with the Knicks trailing by 10. By the time he returned, the deficit had grown to 17.

The Knicks’ demise seemed inevitable, and only slightly overdue. They went 0-3 to start the series, a deficit no N.B.A. team has ever overcome. They are the 101st team to fail.

By tip-off, the Knicks were down to their third-string point guard (Bibby) and a bench with few useful bodies. Novak, their 3-point ace, was thoroughly shut down by the Heat.

The Knicks were also undermined by a string of misfortune: the April surgery on Lin’s knee, the illness that drained Chandler before Game 1, the devastating knee injuries to Iman Shumpert and Davis and Stoudemire’s glass-shattering, hand-slicing moment of madness after Game 2.

Stoudemire averaged 15.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in the series, but it will be his smashing of a glass fire-extinguisher cover — which caused him to miss Game 3 — that will forever mark this postseason.

As Stoudemire walked to the bench after fouling out, the public-address announcer sent him off with a gleeful final insult: “He has been extinguished from the game.”

James Scores 32, Heat Roll by Knicks 100-67

A few moments later, he was fine.

And a few moments after that, the Miami Heat had complete control of Game 1 against the New York Knicks.

James scored 32 points after shooting 10 for 14 from the field, and the Heat rode the strength of what became a 32-2 run to easily beat the Knicks 100-67 on Saturday, striking first in the series between clubs that waged classic annual battles from 1997 through 2000 and are meeting for the first time since.

Dwyane Wade added 19 points in his first game back after dislocating his left index finger.

“Our guys had a noticeable look in their eyes the last 24 hours,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We wanted to get back to the basics and play to our identity. For the most part, we were able to do that by being aggressive.”

No, this wasn’t redemption for falling short in last season’s finals.

But for James and the Heat, it sure was a fine start.

“I’m a different player this year, a different person this year compared to last year,” James said. “I’ve waited to get back to the postseason, prepared myself all season, throughout the offseason to get back to this point.”

It was physical, it was heated — and it was one-sided. New York’s 67 points matched a franchise playoff low.

Mario Chalmers finished with 11 points and nine assists for Miami, which turned 27 New York turnovers into a franchise playoff-record 38 points. The Knicks were called for 21 fouls in the first half, Miami enjoying a 28-5 advantage in free throws attempted in the first 24 minutes alone, and center Tyson Chandler sent James flying with what was called a flagrant foul as the Heat were blowing the game open.

J.R. Smith scored 17 for the Knicks, who lost Iman Shumpert to a torn knee ligament and have dropped 11 straight playoff games dating back to 2001. Carmelo Anthony missed 12 of 15 shots and finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Baron Davis added 10 points for New York.

It was the worst playoff loss for the Knicks since a 126-85 defeat at Chicago on April 25, 1991.

“This series is not over,” Knicks forward Amare Stoudemire said. “We’ve got to learn from our mistakes today and get ready for Monday.”

The series isn’t, but Shumpert’s is. The Knicks said the rookie guard also tore a lateral meniscus and would miss approximately six to eight months. Even before an MRI at a hospital, Anthony said what was obvious to anyone who saw Shumpert take a non-contact tumble in the third quarter.

“We know Shump is not going to be with us,” Anthony said.

Maybe it was ironic that this game took a turn when someone who helped doom Miami in last season’s finals sent the two-time MVP flying.

Chandler — who helped Dallas win the 2011 title over Miami — set a back pick near midcourt with 1:34 left in the half, and James never saw it coming. The original call was a flagrant-2 against Chandler, which would have meant an automatic ejection. After review, it was downgraded to a flagrant-1, so Chandler could stick around for the rest of the debacle.

Given that he spent Friday and Saturday fighting the flu, Chandler would have probably rather left anyway.

“They played really well,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said, “and we played awful.”

An awful 9 minutes for the Knicks decided this one.

After all, this is a Heat-Knicks playoff series. It’s almost required to have emotions boil over.

With Jeff Van Gundy and Alonzo Mourning in the building — remember, the former Knicks coach once tugged on the Heat center’s leg during one memorable Miami-New York playoff dustup — along with Knicks assistant general manager Allan Houston, he of the game-winner to eliminate the Heat from the last playoffs following a lockout-shortened season of 1999, things got heated once again.

Anthony’s 39 Points Wasted in Pacers’ 40-Point Fourth Quarter

They lost a 17-point lead, they lost their cool, then they lost the game as their grip on a playoff berth became a little looser. If the Knicks ultimately miss the postseason, they will look back with stinging regret on a stunning .

was mostly brilliant, scoring a season-high 39 points, only to miss the two most critical shots of the night. The Knicks’ defense was mostly sound, until it allowed a 40-point fourth quarter.

As the frustration bubbled over, J. R. Smith lost his head, earning an ejection after throwing Leandro Barbosa to the court in the final seconds — an act that Coach Mike Woodson called “unprofessional.”

“We somewhat self-destructed,” said Woodson, who lost for just the third time in his 12 games as the interim coach. “I mean, we kind of lost our composure.”

The collapse was so quick and so forceful that it took the Knicks at least a dozen adjectives to describe it as they milled about a dejected locker room. Baron Davis called it ugly. Anthony called it unfortunate and frustrating. There was talk of complacency, the sort that the Knicks cannot afford at this late date.

The loss left the Knicks (27-27) with a mere for the eighth and final playoff spot, with 12 games to play. The next four games could make or break the season: at Orlando on Thursday, followed by two games against Chicago (home and away) and a trip to Milwaukee next Wednesday.

“We’re not going to let it happen again,” Tyson Chandler said, adding, “The season is not long enough to have these type of letdowns.”

The Knicks beat the Pacers (32-21) on consecutive nights last month, and convincingly so, which made this letdown all the more irritating. Danny Granger and Paul George combined for 26 points in the fourth quarter, when the Pacers made 10 of 17 shots and took advantage of five Knicks turnovers, two by Anthony.

Steve Novak hit a 3-pointer late in the third quarter to give the Knicks an 87-70 lead, stoking a celebration on the bench. The smiles and laughter faded quickly.

Barbosa, Dahntay Jones and Granger opened the fourth quarter with layups as the Pacers began their charge, which ballooned to an 18-2 run by the middle of the period. Granger hit a pair of 3-pointers, then celebrated by pretending to snap on a championship belt — a dig at Novak, who makes the gesture after every big 3-pointer. George scored 7 straight points to make it a 31-6 run, giving Indiana a 101-93 lead.

Anthony answered with an 8-point burst to cut the deficit to 103-101, but the Knicks never regained the lead. Anthony had two 3-pointers rattle out in the final 42 seconds.

“They both felt good,” said Anthony, who otherwise had a good shooting night (17 for 31).

The game ended with an ugly scene, as Smith, who had been tangling with Barbosa, threw him down in a fit of frustration with 10.7 seconds left. He was immediately ejected.

“He was frustrated — I could see that as that fourth quarter lingered on,” Woodson said. “And maybe I should have pulled him. But I didn’t. He and I will have a discussion about that, because that’s a little unprofessional, I think.”

As he was approached at his locker, Smith grumbled about reporters looking for “controversy” and “selling newspapers.”

“He was going at me, I was going at him,” Smith said of Barbosa. He added, “Just got a little fed up with it.”

The Knicks are 3-2 since Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin went down with serious injuries, and are looking vulnerable for the first time.

Stoudemire has not spoken publicly about his back injury since the day the Knicks shut him down, more than a week ago. He maintained the silence Tuesday, though he chatted amiably with reporters on other topics before the game. Asked why he would not talk about the injury, Stoudemire said: “Just in silent mode, man. Focused.”

Woodson has repeatedly referred to Stoudemire as “day to day,” but the official recovery window of two to four weeks — announced on March 28 — remains unchanged. Stoudemire received an epidural last week to treat a bulging disk.

“I keep saying ‘day to day,’ in hopes that he might come back,” Woodson said. He added, “All I can do is wait.”


Carmelo Anthony leaped into 103rd place on the N.B.A.’s career scoring list, passing the Knicks Hall of Famer Walt Frazier, as well as Terry Porter and Elton Brand. Anthony now has 15,607 points. Frazier has 15,581 points, 106th on the list. … Jared Jeffries missed his seventh straight game because of a sore right knee. His return remains undetermined.