LeBron James dominated in the paint on Sunday. Credit: Getty Images
An unsurprising Knicks loss, paired with a surprising Hawks win, has New York’s playoff hopes on life support.
The Heat, even without Dwyane Wade, knocked off the Knicks, 102-91, behind 38 points from LeBron James.
J.R. Smith drained 10 3-pointers on an NBA-record 22 attempts, but his 32 points were not enough to keep the Knicks (33-45) on pace with Atlanta in the fight for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks (34-42) dominated the Pacers in Indiana, 107-88, in a total shocker. The Pacers, who are trying to keep even with Miami for the top spot in the East, were down 55-23 at the half and were never factors.
Atlanta now leads the Knicks by three games in the loss column with just four games left to play for New York.
“Our fate is almost now in Atlanta’s hands,” Carmelo Anthony told reporters after the game. “My fate is in somebody else’s hands.”
Anthony, who is fighting a shoulder injury, had just 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter@MetroNYSports.