Streaking Heat trounce Knicks to tighten hold on East top spot

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Streaking Heat trounce Knicks to tighten hold on East top spot
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat goes up against Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks in the second half at FTX Arena on January 26, 2022 in Miami, Florida.

MANILA, Philippines — The Miami Heat solidified their grip on the top spot in the NBA Eastern Conference standings following a 110-96 victory over the New York Knicks at the FTX Arena in Florida on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).

In securing their eighth win in the last 10 contests, the Heat leaned on balanced offense with four players scoring at least 20 points.

A hot start for Miami in the opening quarter led to a twin-digit lead at the end of the first 12 minutes, 30-16.

Jimmy Butler and PJ Tucker outscored the whole New York Knicks squad in the opening quarter as they combined for 17 points.

The tremendous start for the Heat proved to be enough to stave the Knicks until the final buzzer as they took the wire-to-wire victory.

At their most dominant, the Heat were up by 30 against New York.

Duncan Robinson led all scorers with 25 points.

Butler, meanwhile, finished with an all-around game of 22 points, six boards, five assists and two steals.

Tyler Herro and Tucker wrap up Miami players who scored in double figures with 21 and 20 points, respectively.

RJ Barrett paced the Knicks in their second straight loss with 17 points.

The Chicago Bulls remained at second place as they held off the Toronto Raptors, 111-105.

After squandering a 19-point lead, the Bulls were able to recover in the tail-end of the final salvo to take back the win at United Center.

DeMar Derozan paced the Bulls with 29 points. He also had seven assists and seven rebounds.

The Brooklyn Nets, for their part, are reeling as they absorbed their third straight loss.

They fell to the Denver Nuggets, 118-124.

Without any of its three stars, the Nets fel to a Nuggets side led by Nikola Jokic who flirted with a triple-double.

Jokic tallied 26 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Elsewhere, the Charlotte Hornets blasted the Indiana Pacers in a high scoring affair, 158-126.

Kelly Oubre Jr. erupted for 39 points on 12-of-18 shooting for the Hornets.

LaMelo Ball, meanwhile, finished with a triple-double of 29 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

It took a third salvo where the Hornets outscored Indiana, 42-24, to blow the game wide open.

Charlotte scored a whopping 87 points in just the second half.

In other games, the Cleveland Cavaliers moved past the Milwaukee Bucks in the East standings with a 115-99 victory over the latter.

Kevin Love paced the Cavs with 25 points and nine rebounds as they won their third straight game.

Trae Young, meanwhile, tallied a double-double for the Atlanta Hawks in their 121-104 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Young finished with 17 points, 10 assists and four steals as they extended their win streak to five.

The Los Angeles Clippers, for their part, returned to .500 with a 111-102 victory over cellar dwellers Orlando Magic.

Amir Coffey paced the Clippers with 19 points, six boards and five dimes.



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