The Heat (52-16) will be there, almost certainly as the East's No. 1-seeded team. The Knicks, with their third loss in four games, may not be in the playoff conversation much longer - at least, not without major assistance from the Nets, Philadelphia and Orlando. They remain four games behind the 76ers for the final playoff spot in the East, but they have just 18 games left to make a move.
ONE-TWO PUNCH"Nothing matters unless you win the whole thing," he said. "To all of you single men out there, it is not how you start the date, it is how you finish the date. Remember that."
Said Knick coach Herb Williams: "When those two guys [O'Neal and Wade] are rolling, nobody has the personnel in this league to [stop them]."
Heat turns down KnicksThe Knicks had held down Shaq in the last two Garden meetings, but last night he owned the paint, backing in either Michael Sweetney or Malik Rose for easy jump hooks. The Heat scored a whopping 58 points in the paint.
O'Neal and Wade, the league's most formidable inside-outside duo, combined for 63 points as Miami (52-16) won for the 12th straight time, including two wins in five days over the Knicks.
Heat is two, two good"We need wins," Malik Rose said, "because our window of opportunity is closing."
"Shaq is unbelievable," Crawford said. "You can tell he's turning his game up and getting ready for the playoffs. Shaq demands so much attention that Wade can get a step on you and get open. We wanted to fight. We played that team tough the past three games. Thirty-three was the most Shaq scored on us. That was a different Shaq tonight."