The Miami Heat have won 13 straight games, have the best record in the Eastern Conference, produced a viral video that has nearly 20 million views on YouTube in a week, and had President Barack Obama tell LeBron James that it's his world. But despite all that has gone right for the defending champs, one thing they haven't done this season is beat the New York Knicks.
The Heat get their third crack at the Knicks at 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The game will be televised on ABC.
The first two meetings between the teams haven't been close. The Knicks won by 20 at home in November and won by 20 again in Miami in December. They even managed the second of those two victories without top player Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks have managed to hold two of Miami's three stars in check in both games. Dwyane Wade is averaging just 14.0 points per game against New York (7.5 below his overall average) and Chris Bosh is averaging 12.0 points per game against New York (4.9 below his overall average).
New York's defense has also done a good job of creating more scoring opportunities for the offense, forcing the Heat into an average of 17.5 turnovers in those games. The Heat only average 12.7 turnovers per game on the season, third best in the league.
The Heat have had a hard time defending Knicks point guard Raymond Felton as well. Felton had 14 points and nine assists in New York's win in November. Then in December, without the services of Carmelo Anthony, Felton scored 27 points and had seven assists.
If the Heat win Sunday, they could tie their franchise record 14-game winning streak. The Knicks need to win to keep their hold on second place in the Eastern Conference standings. New York is tied for second with the Indiana Pacers, who play the Chicago Bulls at 8 p.m. Sunday on ESPN. Both New York and Indiana trail the Heat by 6.5 games in the race for the Eastern Conference's top seed.
New York and Miami play each other one more time this season, April 2 in Miami.
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