NEW YORK, Feb. 9 (Ticker) -- Stephon Marbury's
inability to back up his
claim as the best point guard in the NBA enabled the Miami Heat
to improve on the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Marbury missed four of his final seven free throws and failed to
direct the offense in the final minute of regulation, allowing
the Heat to post a 116-110 overtime triumph over the New York
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After declaring himself "the best point guard in the NBA" in
late December, Marbury was not chosen as an All-Star reserve
Tuesday. Since his proclamation, the Knicks have dropped 17 of
20, falling to last in the Atlantic Division.
New York was 16-13 at the time of Marbury's statement but has
lost 17 of 20 since, including a handful of close games due to
lack of execution.
"It's hard to win games with (missed) free throws and
turnovers," Marbury said. "We just have to continue to get
better as a team and execute at the end of games. We just
haven't been doing it. There's no explanation for it."
Marbury missed a season-high six free throws on 15 attempts. New
York has shot 68 percent (79-of-116) from the line over its
last four games.
In this one, Marbury scored 36 points, topping 30 points for the
fourth straight game and falling one point shy of his season
high. But he missed a critical free throw with 52 seconds to go
and failed to run the offense effectively in the waning
moments, resulting in a shot clock violation with two seconds
remaining in regulation.
"It was a pick-and-roll," Marbury said. "I saw Kurt (Thomas)
open and threw him the ball. I felt like I was double-covered."
The Heat capitalized on Marbury's miscues and took over in
overtime, when Dwyane Wade
scored 10 of his 30 points. He had
six in a 10-4 spurt to open overtime that gave Miami the lead
"I said to myself, 'I'm just going to try to take over the game'
and made some plays," Wade said. "I wanted to be very
After the Knicks got within 105-101 on rookie Trevor Ariza's
dunk with 66 seconds to play, Wade scored four more points as
the Heat sealed the win with 11 free throws.
"We had a great overtime," Miami guard Damon Jones
executed well. We played good solid defense."
Named to his first All-Star team on Tuesday, Wade made 10-of-22
shots and 10-of-13 free throws. He helped the Heat overcome a
sluggish night from Shaquille O'Neal
, who made just 5-of-16
"I thought our guys did a good job when Shaq had a tough night,"
Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It's good to know on the road
that we don't need him to be magnificent."
Jones scored 22 points for Miami, which improved to 26-4 against
the Eastern Conference this season. The Heat have won 15 of 17
overall and improved to 2-0 against New York this season.
Thomas had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Penny Hardaway
14 points off the bench for the Knicks, who fell to 7-15 this
season in games decided by six points or less.
Marbury scored eight points in a 12-2 run, with his driving
layup giving New York a 94-92 lead with 1:27 to play. After
Wade and Marbury split a pair at the line, Eddie Jones'
forged a 95-95 tie with 40 seconds left.