MIAMI (Sporting Alert) — LeBron James didn’t like the way the Heat (12-4) played in losing its winning streak to the Washington Wizards in their last outing, but the Miami star played down the significance of the defeat.
The Heat were beaten 105-100 at Washington, which snapped a six-game winning streak for the defending champions, but James, who is fired up for Miami’s clash with the on form New York Knicks (13-4) tonight, has already put that loss behind them.
The reigning MVP, who recorded his 33rd career regular-season triple-double with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the defeat to a team that has only registered two wins this season, says there’s no need to panic.
“Nah, man, there’s no lesson [to be learnt]. This ain’t a lesson for us. We just lost,” James said.
“We’ve seen and been through everything, so we don’t need a loss to be like, ‘Oh, let’s catch ourselves.’ It happens.”
Being the defending champions and loaded with the kind of talents that they have made the Heat a target for every team, including Thursday night’s opponents New York, who are gunning for them.
“We understand that every team we play is going to play their best,” James said. “They’re going to make shots they don’t make against other teams.
“We understand teams are going to play better when they play against us. They’re up for it and we have to be for teams as well.”
While the Heat are coming off a defeat, the Knicks head into the match-up on the back of buzzer beat 100-98 win over the Charlotte Bobcats and the clash could not have come at a better time.
Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, but a finger injury could prevent him from playing at the AmericanAirlines Arena – a place in which New York have dropped five straight.
J.R. Smith knocked down the late bucket to seal the victory, which delighted Anthony.
“I was hurt, but J.R. made it feel better,” said Anthony, who is averaging 28.4 points in his last 13 regular-season matchups with Miami.
“Right now it’s numb, so I don’t know.”
Dwyane Wade, who is averaging 30.3 in his last 13 in the series against Miami believes with or without Anthony it should be a good game.
“It’ll be a good game for us,” Wade said. “It’s a game that we all look forward to.
“Obviously, we want to play better, and it’s a good time for it (facing the Knicks).”