NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points, Andrea Bargnani had 19, and the New York Knicks beat the Miami Heat 102-92 on Thursday night for their season-high third consecutive victory.
Raymond Felton had 13 points and 14 assists for the Knicks, who seized control with a 16-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters and beat the Heat for the fourth time in five meetings over the last two seasons.
New York was second to Miami in the Eastern Conference last season when it won the series 3-1, but there was little reason to suggest the Knicks were ready to compete with the NBA champions this season. New York is only 13-22, though it has won four of five in 2014.
Amare Stoudemire contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Knicks.
LeBron James scored 32 points for the Heat.
SUNS: Point guard Eric Bledsoe will undergo surgery on his right knee and is out indefinitely.
Bledsoe has teamed with Goran Dragic to form a dynamic backcourt that has been the catalyst to the Suns’ 21-13 record.
Bledsoe, averaging 18 points and 5.8 assists, has missed the past four games with what had been described as a sprained right knee.
TIMBERWOLVES: Minnesota is struggling to develop team unity as the franchise pursues its first playoff bid since 2004.
“We can’t have two guys sitting at the end of the bench that play good minutes just sitting there and not getting up during timeouts,” Star Kevin Love said, referring to poor body language exhibited by veterans J.J. Barea and Dante Cunningham during Wednesday’s 104-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns. “We all need to be in this together. That kind of (ticks) me off. We’re supposed to be a team.”
ALL-STAR VOTING: LeBron James and Kevin Durant lead their conferences in the latest NBA All-Star voting.
Balloting for the Feb. 16 game in New Orleans ends Jan. 20.
The starters will be announced Jan. 23, before the Lakers play the Heat.
James leads all players with 1.076 million votes. Miami teammate Dwyane Wade is also on pace to join LeBron in the Eastern Conference lineup, along with Paul George of Indiana, Carmelo Anthony of New York and Kyrie Irving of Cleveland.
In the West, Kobe Bryant is second in balloting, followed by Houston’s Dwight Howard, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Minnesota’s Kevin Love.