J.R. Smith left on the bench for entire game.
There were just two games on the NBA schedule on Thursday night, and the New York Knicks took centre stage with their win over the Miami Heat.
A month ago, the Knicks appeared to be in real trouble as they struggled to put wins together and languished near the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
However, moving forward to 2014 they are now on a three-game winning streak, have won four of their last five games which has included victories over the Heat and San Antonio Spurs.
The Knicks also secured their fourth win in five meetings against Miami, and with a return to form on their home court too, things are looking positive for coach Mike Woodson and his players.
“You can tell it’s different than one month ago,” Andrea Bargnani told reporters, according to ESPN. “Our faces are different, our body language is different.”
Carmelo Anthony led the way with 29 points, while Bargnani added 19 as the Knicks beat the Heat 102-92 to move to 13-22 for the season.
Raymond Felton returned from injury to post up 13 points and 14 assists as the hosts went on a 16-2 run across the third and fourth quarters to seal the win.
They still sit outside of the playoff spots, but similarly to city rivals the Brooklyn Nets, they appear to be finding some form and will undoubtedly now look to push on and ensure a top-eight finish.
In contrast, Miami slip to 27-9 after missing out on an opportunity to close the gap between themselves and current Eastern Conference leaders, the Indiana Pacers.
LeBron James had 32 points and six assists, but the Heat were without injured pair Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier while Dwyane Wade added 23 points.
In the other game of the night, the Oklahoma City Thunder fell to another loss to slip to 27-9 and have now gone 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The Denver Nuggets owed much of the win to Randy Foye who had a season-high 24 points to make it four consecutive wins, as their resurgence sees them re-enter the playoff picture.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks wasn’t particularly worried by the performance, insisting that much of it is “correctable” as OKC struggled to get going offensively.
Kevin Durant had 30 points, while Reggie Jackson had 13 and Derek Fisher added 12, but it wasn’t enough for the Thunder to avoid losing a second game in a row.
Miami Heat 92-102 New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder 88-101 Denver Nuggets