"I really couldn't move when I got out there," he said. "I didn't have much strength on it. Moving laterally and trying to get up on the ball screen is difficult."
The Heat were scheduled to play their season opener here in the original 82-game schedule that was scrapped because of the lockout. They also would have opened here in a revised 72-game season that never developed when owners and players couldn't agree to a new deal in time.
Instead, they ended up being the last Eastern Conference team to visit Madison Square Garden, site of many fierce playoff matchups between the teams in the late 1990s.
It had a playoff look Sunday, with orange shirts being worn by fans all around the court — though not by Jay-Z and Beyonce sitting courtside.
Only the Heat looked playoff ready at the start. The Knicks missed their first three free throws and Miami led by as much as 11 in the first quarter before settling for a 29-22 advantage that would have been much bigger if not for Anthony's 14 points.
Miami stalled in the second quarter, Wade slamming the ball to the floor in frustration after one basket as the Knicks rallied behind Anthony and their reserves before the Heat took a 46-44 edge into halftime.
"I thought early we were a little jittery because we wanted to play so well coming out of the box and we didn't. But once we got back in the game I really thought we were playing at a nice pace in that second quarter to get back in," interim coach Mike Woodson said. "In the third quarter, I thought we had nothing offensively and then coming down the stretch we just didn't get it done."
The Heat had a brief scare in the third when James went down after twisting his ankle when he backpedaled into some fans after hitting a corner jumper. He stayed down for a moment but remained in the game after a timeout.
Notes: Wade played in his 594th game with the Heat, breaking Alonzo Mourning's record. ... The Heat have a short trip before playing again Monday, heading across the Hudson River to face the New Jersey Nets. ... Both Miami inactives were former Knicks centers: Ronny Turiaf and Eddy Curry. Coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat wanted to give more time to rest a sore hamstring. ... Jared Jeffries played in the second half after needing three stitches to close a cut on his chin.
Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.