(The Sports Xchange) - Gerald Green scored a season-high 25 points in Miami’s 97-78 win over New York on Friday, but his defensive effort against Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony might have been the most impressive part of his performance.
Green, starting in place of injured forward Luol Deng, and rookie forward Justise Winslow held Anthony scoreless for the final three quarters on 0-for-8 shooting at Madison Square Garden, limiting him to a season-low 11 points.
“I respect ‘Melo a lot,” Green said. “I’ve been a fan of him before I’ve even been in this league.
“I just try to take the challenge. You really can’t stop a guy like him, you can only contain him, and that’s what I tried to do. I just tried to make everything tough for him.”
Green dropped in 20 second-half points as the Heat outscored the Knicks 47-29 after the break.
Forward Chris Bosh added 20 points and five rebounds, guard Dwyane Wade had 17 points and five rebounds, while Miami center Hassan Whiteside, who led the NBA in blocks per game (4.7), swatted five shots in the win.
Rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis tied Anthony for the Knicks’ team lead with 11 points, while forward Kevin Seraphin added 10 points off the bench.
“You have to give Gerald and Justise a lot of credit,” Wade said.
“They kept fighting (Anthony). He is an unbelievable scorer. You have to understand his tendencies and hope for the best.”
The game was close until New York’s top two rim protectors, center Robin Lopez and Porzingis, both picked up their fourth foul within a minute of one another early in the third quarter.
The Heat pounced and turned a one-point lead into a 66-55 advantage with 5:01 to go in the period as Green dropped in six during the burst.
“They are big up front, and they really make it tough for you to do the things you want to do,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.
“We didn’t finish the second quarter the right way and things continued in the second half.
We definitely had to make some adjustments, but that is why everyone has to stay ready.
“We are playing a team that has some championship DNA, and you knew the championship pedigree was coming out.”