Anthony opened with an 11-shot quarter — the last time someone took more in the first 12 minutes of a playoff game was May 15, 2006, when Richard Hamilton got 12 shots off for Detroit against Cleveland. Anthony missed all seven of the jumpers he took in Game 1 when guarded by James, then got his first one to fall on the game's first possession Monday.
By halftime, Anthony was up to 21 points on 9-for-18 shooting, the Knicks needing all that and more. Wade, James and Bosh combined for 41 points in the first two quarters, helping Miami take a 53-47 lead.
Unlike Game 1, it wasn't over by halftime. And play was heated, just not overheated. Well, until postgame, anyway.
Chandler, who set a back pick that sent James tumbling late in Saturday's first half, picked up a technical for taunting early in the second quarter when he went over Miller for a putback dunk and then glared at him for a few moments. A few minutes later, James did a fist-pump toward the seats after a layup late in the half.
But whenever Miami was on the cusp of pulling away, New York had answers.
Consecutive baskets by James midway through the third quarter, the second of those good enough for him to merit it worthy of a chest-bump and long look at the Knicks bench, put Miami up 67-56 — then its biggest lead. Four minutes later, the Knicks were within four, a dunk by Chandler making it 72-68 with 1:37 left in the period.
Miami's margin was back to nine after a flurry ended the quarter. James drove right and got just about every Knick to shift with him, leaving Battier all alone for a 3-pointer, and James' three-point play as the shot clock was running down had him laughing and the Heat up 78-69 going into the fourth.
The Knicks never got any closer, and the Heat wound up holding serve at home.
"We did what we're supposed to do," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It's not anything more than that. We're already trying to leave this game behind."
By then, word was just seeping out of what happened in the Knicks locker room.
"Amare is a huge piece of this team," Chandler said. "And, you know, without him, it's going to make it more difficult."
Notes: It was Miami's 57th straight home postseason sellout. ... Knicks G Mike Bibby came out of one of his shoes during play early in the second quarter, then got miffed after Wade picked up the sneaker and tossed it out of his reach as New York took the ball into the offensive end. "I don't think many people have done that before," Wade said. ... Stoudemire missed two free throws with 54.2 seconds left in the third quarter, then got to try the second one again after James was called for a lane violation — and missed that as well. ... Heat F Udonis Haslem bought tickets for relatives of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26. ... Knicks G Iman Shumpert, who will have surgery this week to repair a torn ligament in his left knee, watched from the locker room. ... It's the first time the Heat have held a 2-0 series lead over the Knicks. All four previous matchups were split after the opening two games.
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