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Knicks fall to Heat again

Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks

Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the New York Knicks drives to the hoop in the first half against Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 in New York City. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

It may have looked different, felt different, and played out differently, but all those differences couldn't save the Knicks from a frustratingly familiar result.

Four days after a woeful first half and a struggling bench led to a 17-point loss against the Heat in Miami, the Knicks were back at it against Chris Bosh and company. This time, they came out strong for the first half, the bench produced, and still it wasn't enough to compensate for the third-quarter swoon and an eventual 97-78 loss at Madison Square Garden Friday night. It was the Knicks' third loss in a row and dropped them back to under .500 at 8-9.

The Knicks led for the majority of the first half -- at two points going up by seven in the second quarter -- but the Heat dominated down the stretch, tying it on Hassan Whiteside's free throw with 9:09 left in the third quarter and taking the lead on his next one.

Those baskets kicked off a 14-2 run that spanned more than 51/2 minutes during which the Knicks went 1-for-11 from the floor and had a shot-clock violation. Carmelo Anthony, who scored 11 points in the first half but went cold and scored none in the third, fouled Gerald Green beyond the arc midway through the quarter to eventually help the Heat open an 11-point lead with 5:01 left in the quarter. Miami kept that margin going into the fourth, leading 74-63.

The Knicks shot 37.6 from the floor -- not too much better than Monday's effort, in which they shot 32.2 percent.

Jerian Grant tipped in a finger roll over traffic with 6:27 left, in the second quarter and Kristaps Porzingis' booming alley oop from Langston Galloway right after gave the Knicks a seven-point advantage. But with the Heat down 45-38 with 4:26 left, Bosh scored four straight to draw it to within a possession. Dwayne Wade hit a floater with a minute to go before the break, and later nabbed the offensive rebound to set the stage for s Bosh, whose stepback jumper gave the Heat a 50-49 lead going into the third quarter.

Things got fully out of hand in the fourth quarter, when the Knicks were dealt a defining blow with 8:56 left. Down by 10, Grant snagged a bad pass by Tyler Johnson and swung it over to Derrick Williams, who drove to the basket only to be denied by a loud, momentum-killing block by Bosh.

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