Knicks beat Heat to avoid sweep

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony celebrates after making a three point shot late in the fourth...

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony celebrates after making a three point shot late in the fourth quarter of the Knicks' win in Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat. (REUTERS)

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 7:39 PM ET

NEW YORK - With his team on the brink of elimination, Carmelo Anthony poured in 41 points and the Knicks defeated the Heat, 89-87, in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Amare Stoudemire, who missed Game 3 with an injured left hand which he suffered when he punched a fire extinguisher after a loss in Game 2, returned to the lineup and scored 20 points and grabbed 10 boards to help the Knicks earn their first playoff victory in over a decade.

"We needed a big game out of both of those guys to get over the hump," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson about Anthony and Stoudemire. "Now we got this monkey off our back and we're still playing."

The Knicks had lost an NBA-record 13 straight consecutive playoff games, dating back to April 29, 2001, but still have plenty of work to do as they trail Miami 3-1 in their best-of-seven series.

The series returns to Miami for Game 5, which is slated for Wednesday.

LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade chipped in 22 and Chris Bosh added 17 but the Heat were unable to complete their first series sweep since the second round of the 2005 playoffs against the Washington Wizards.

The game was tied at 81 with less than two minutes to play when Mike Bibby and James exchanged three-pointers on consecutive possessions before Anthony added a triple of his own to make it an 87-84 contest with 54.5 ticks left.

The Heat then committed a backcourt violation on an errant pass from Bosh and Shane Battier was called for a foul on a three-point attempt from Anthony, who made just 1-of-3 to make it a two-possession game with 25.9 seconds remaining.

James finished a contested left-handed layup on the other end, drew a foul from Tyson Chandler on the play and knocked down the free throw to make it a one-point game with 20.3 on the clock.

The Heat then sent Stoudemire to the line, where he made 1-of-2 to give the Knicks an 89-87 lead with 14.8 seconds left.

Wade tried to get to the basket on the final possession, but lost control of the ball, forcing him back to the three-point line where he tossed up a potential game-winner that hit the front rim to send the series to a fifth game.

"It's not ideal, obviously, but it is the deal," remarked Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra. "We have to own it and the Knicks made enough big plays there at the end. They made big shots and we couldn't quite match that."

New York held a 20-18 lead after one before the Heat tallied 12 straight to open the second.

Miami connected on 14-of-19 from the charity stripe in the second to take a 44-38 lead into the locker room.

After trailing by as many as 11 in the third, the Knicks surged ahead with a 19-2 run as Stoudemire tallied seven over that span and Anthony added nine to give New York a 59-53 lead before James' three with 10.2 seconds left sent the Heat into the fourth facing a 64-61 deficit.

The Heat opened the fourth with a run, scoring eight of the first 11 points to regain a two-point edge but Anthony's three-point play just past the midpoint of the frame gave the Knicks a 76-75 advantage.

Game Notes

New York guard Baron Davis left the game on a stretcher with 5:15 left in the third after dislocating his patella in his right knee on a drive to the basket...The two teams combined to shoot 8-of-41 from three-point range...No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.


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