New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton. EFE/File
U.S. Sports Desk, Dec 7 (EFE).- The New York Knicks routed the Miami Heat 112-92 despite the absence of injured star Carmelo Anthony, their second trouncing of the defending NBA champs thus far this season.
The Heat's "Big 3" of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh was reduced to a one-man show on Thursday night at Miami's American Airlines Arena, as the reigning league MVP nearly notched his second straight triple-double, scoring 31 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out nine assists.
Bosh and Wade, however, both had off nights, shooting a combined 6-of-25 from the field and scoring just 13 points and 12 points, respectively.
Wade has struggled in his return from offseason knee surgery and is averaging just 19.4 points through the Heat's first 17 games, well below his career average of 25 points.
The Knicks' bench, meanwhile, badly outscored the Heat's reserves by a tally of 57-19, with sharp-shooter Steve Novak sinking 4-of-9 3-pointers for 18 points and J.R. Smith and Rasheed Wallace scoring 13 and 12 to equal the output of Wade and Bosh.
Starting point guard Raymond Felton, who has quickly made Knicks fans forget about last year's sensation Jeremy Lin, played at an All-Star level with 27 points, seven assists and just three turnovers in 35 minutes of play.
Center Tyson Chandler also helped make up for the loss of Anthony, out with a lacerated finger, by scoring 13 points and snagging nine rebounds.
The Heat, stunned by the lowly Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, lost their second straight game for the first time this season and now stand at 12-5.
The Knicks, meanwhile, have an Eastern Conference-leading record of 14-4 despite having played all season without injured starters Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert.
New York also routed the Heat by a 20-point margin when the teams met in the Knicks' season-opener in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 2.
Anthony was the star of that contest, played shortly after Hurricane Sandy devastated the northeastern United States, scoring 30 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Knicks rolled to a 104-84 win.
In one other NBA game Thursday night, the Dallas Mavericks edged the Phoenix Suns 97-94 behind 23 points from emerging star O.J. Mayo.
Markieff Morris scored 15 points and snatched 17 rebounds in a losing effort.