Heat at Knicks: What bettors need to know

Mar 2, 2013 |
The Knicks have handled the Heat in two previous meetings this season.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The Knicks have handled the Heat in two previous meetings this season.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Miami Heat at New York Knicks (+4.5, 198)

When the Miami Heat last tasted defeat, they were clinging to a half-game lead over the New York Knicks for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Things have taken a dramatic turn since. The Heat will enter Sunday's matinee showdown at Madison Square Garden riding a 13-game winning streak and holding a comfortable 6 1/2-game edge over the Knicks. Miami still has some unfinished business with New York, which has won both meetings between the teams this season - each by a 20-point margin.

The Heat overcame a sub-par outing by LeBron James to keep the win streak intact with a gritty 98-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. Miami has won five in a row away from home, all coming by double digits. The Knicks used a strong fourth quarter to knock off the Washington Wizards on Friday night. It was the third consecutive victory following a four-game skid for New York, which is tied with the Indiana Pacers for the second seed in the East.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, ABC

ABOUT THE HEAT (42-14): While James earned his fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Player of the Month Friday, teammate Dwyane Wade is quietly putting together his own stellar stretch. Wade scored a team-high 22 points against the Grizzlies and is averaging 29.5 points in his last four games. Wade is shooting a blistering 63.1 percent and has added eight steals and five blocked shots during that span. He is averaging 27.3 points in his career vs. the Knicks despite scoring a combined 28 points in the two meetings this season.

ABOUT THE KNICKS (35-20): New York routed the Heat in Miami on Dec. 6 without leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who is on a scoring spree of his own. Anthony put up 30 points against the Wizards and is averaging 31.5 points in the last four games. But he continues to struggle from 3-point range, connecting on just 20 percent of his attempts (8 of 40) over the past six games.

TRENDS:

* Heat are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games.
* Knicks are 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in Heat’s last four overall.
* Over is 4-1 in Knicks’ last five overall.

BUZZER BEATERS:

1. A victory Sunday will allow Miami to match the longest winning streak in franchise history, set during the 2004-05 season.

2. The Knicks have buried 37 3-pointers in the two wins over the Heat.

3. Miami ousted New York in five games in last season's playoffs, not allowing more than 94 points.
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