Miami Heat superstar LeBron James led his side to a 102-91 victory over the New York Knicks with a 38 point game on Sunday evening.
The defeat means the Knicks, who are fighting it out for the last remaining play-off place in the Eastern Conference, have it all to do in their remaining four matches.
For the Heat however, the victory confirmed their place at the top of the standings. With James excelling with 38 points, including five rebounds and six assists, and teammate Mario Chalmers adding 15, the Heat ended the game with a comfortable margin.
It was not for the want of trying from the visitors though as J.R. Smith showed off his fantastic range from behind the 3-point line. His Knicks-record 10 3-pointers which coincided with an NBA-record 22 attempts left him with 32 points at the end but it was still not enough.
The Knicks set the pace early on and led 16-3 by the time the game was just three minutes old, but they missed the next six shots and the Heat added nine straight points with no reply which turned the tide from then on.
They did showing fighting spirit which will serve them well in their post-season hunt, going in 50-48 up at the interval, overturning a eight point lead from the start of the second quarter.
Miami took control as the second half wore on, and James continued to add to his tally with 22 points after the break and with an unassailable lead of 77-64 just into the fourth, the Heat saw out the final minutes to secure the victory.
Four time MVP James spoke to ESPN after the match and paid tribute to the shooting of his opposite number Smith, but admitted he was just satisfied with the win and the momentum the team will gain from the victory.
"You've got to get up in his air space, even beyond the 3-point line, he's an unbelievable shooter but, I'll take the win. I've been gifted and extremely happy that I can make plays like that to help our team get some momentum."
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