MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James couldn't wake up Sunday. He was sluggish when his alarm went off at 8 a.m. and still in a funk when the Miami Heat and New York Knicks tipped off five hours later.
He eventually got into form, just in time to perhaps doom the Knicks' playoff chances.
James scored 38 points and the Heat survived an NBA-record 22 3-point attempts from New York's J.R. Smith in a 102-91 victory that kept Miami atop the Eastern Conference standings.
"You do your job and you live with the results," James said. "We lived with the result of J.R. making some of those bombs."
Chris Bosh added 14 points and Ray Allen had 12 for the Heat (53-23), who are a full game ahead of Indiana (53-25) and two up in the loss column in the East race. The Pacers lost at home to Atlanta later Sunday night.
Smith was 11 for 28 from the floor, 10 for 22 from beyond the arc, and took 10 3s in the fourth quarter alone while Carmelo Anthony didn't attempt a single shot in the period.
The single-game mark was previously held by Damon Stoudemire, who hoisted 21 3s on April 15, 2005.
"It's not really been a goal of mine," Smith said. "I saw the open 3 and tried to take them. I had to take advantage."
Smith finished with 32 for the Knicks, who got 14 from Raymond Felton and 13 from Anthony on 4 for 17 shooting. Anthony has been bothered by a sore right shoulder, but played 44 minutes.
"Melo is still hurting," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I couldn't rest him again tonight. That second half, he was giving us what he's got."
A bad day got worse for New York when the Hawks-Pacers game went final. The Knicks (33-45) are two games behind the Hawks in the race for the final playoff spot, three in the loss column. And New York has only four games left.
"Our fate is almost now in Atlanta's hands," Anthony said. "It's tough. ... My fate is in somebody else's hands."
The start suggested it would be a great day for the Knicks.
James had four turnovers in the opening minutes and New York — which had its best opening 2½ minutes offensively in at least a decade, according to STATS LLC — held a 16-3 lead.
"Flummoxing," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It was bizarre. Our turnovers were, no offense to the Knicks, absolutely unforced."
It was still 16-3 when Felton was whistled for a second early foul, and everything changed. The Knicks missed six straight shots and the Heat scored nine straight points. James — who had one turnover in the final 3½ quarters — settled down and things started going Miami's way.
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