During one hideous stretch, Baron Davis' jumper gave the Knicks a three-point lead with 8:46 left in the third, but they didn't hit again for 7 minutes — and even that make was ugly. Anthony flung in a shot off the backboard while being fouled and tied the score at 51.
"Offensively we just didn't have it," Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson said. "We were so stagnant and I got to take the heat for that."
Lin is practicing again after knee surgery but is not ready to return. Shumpert tore a knee ligament in Game 1, and Stoudemire is hoping the hand injury he sustained punching a fire extinguisher case following Game 2 is healed enough to let him play Sunday.
Desperate to see playoff success, Knicks fans were loud early, chanting "Beat the Heat! Beat the Heat!" but the Knicks gave them little to cheer about once the game started. They made one basket in the first 5 minutes and fell behind by as many as nine points, but then shut down the Heat from the field after Bosh's basket with 4:59 left and tied it at 19 by period's end.
James came in averaging 29.9 points at the current Madison Square Garden, trailing only Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant among opponents who played here at least 10 games. Wade was just behind in fourth with 27.3 per game.
Yet the superstars both started 1 of 6 from the field, James seeming particularly frustrated with the officials and even teammates. Once a fan favorite at the Garden — Knicks fans hoped he would sign here as a free agent in 2010 — he was booed, mocked and cursed by the crowd Thursday.
He eventually would get on the roll he is accustomed to here.
The Heat won the opener by 33 points and took Game 2 104-94 on Monday, when the Knicks' biggest problems came after the game. Stoudemire punched a fire extinguisher case in the arena and badly cut his left hand, needing surgery Tuesday to repair a muscle. He sat on bench with his arm in a sling.
Steve Novak started for him but took only two shots and missed them both.
NOTES: Chandler was honored in a pregame ceremony for winning the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award. ... The Knicks also held a moment of silence for former coach and scout Andrew "Fuzzy" Levane, who died earlier this week at 92.
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