NBA schedule 2014: LeBron James, Heat visit Knicks

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There are 12 games on the NBA slate Saturday, but LeBron James in Madison Square Garden highlights the night.

Main Course

Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks

ESPN; 8:30 p.m. ET

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in Madison Square Garden. Forget New York's record, that both teams are 5-5 in their last 10 or that the Knicks season is a beautiful train wreck. This is the two-time defending champions in an arena built for legendary performances, one that hosted a 62-point haymaker from its prodigal star less than two weeks ago.

The Heat have struggled a bit by their standards, and there are some people really questioning how they are going to recoup from aging, battered bones and a recently porous perimeter defense. But it's hard to put anything past James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, provided they are all healthy.

New York has won its last three games after Anthony's heroic performance. Was that game a kickstart for the Knicks? Saturday night should help answer that question.

Appetizer

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Washington Wizards

League Pass; 7 p.m. ET

Kevin Durant's 30-point game streak ended Friday night, but it didn't really matter against an over-matched Nets team. The Thunder have won 10 straight and are arguably the league's hottest team. The Wizards are middling around, but seem to have a chance against anyone. They beat a hot Suns team and then beat the Warriors a few nights later. Sandwiched in between those two nice wins was a loss against the Jazz, though, just to remind us that they are still Washington.

Dessert

Toronto Raptors vs. Portland Trail Blazers

League Pass; 10 p.m. ET

The Raptors travel to Portland for the second of a five-game road swing. They've won five of their last six games and look like they are going to make some noise in the playoffs. Are they on Indiana or Miami's level? No, but they aren't an easy out, and that's more than most Eastern teams can say. Portland has hit a bit of a wall, losing four of six. In its last two losses, it has failed to score 90 points, something unexpected of the league's best offense.

Other games

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Atlanta Hawks

League Pass; 7:30 p.m. ET

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons

League Pass; 7:30 p.m. ET

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets

League Pass; 8 p.m. ET

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies

League Pass;  8 p.m. ET

Chicago Bulls vs. New Orleans Pelicans

League Pass; 8 p.m. ET

Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs

League Pass; 8 p.m. ET

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Phoenix Suns

League Pass; 9 p.m. ET

Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers

League Pass; 10:30 p.m. ET

More from SB Nation NBA:

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All-Star rosters named | Stephenson, Lowry among snubs

The Hook: Judge All-Stars on merits, not narratives

Mission Improbable: How do you score on the Pacers?

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