Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) goes up for a shot against Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first half.
There will be no Game Six.
The prospect of coming home to a fevered Madison Square Garden on Friday night was on the table when the Knicks and Heat took the court. By halftime, it felt like a pipe dream.
A run late in the second quarter left the Heat up 11 at the break, and it was pretty much all over at that point. There were a few spurts on either side, but the Heat never came close to relinquishing control of a game they would eventually win 106-94.
That means the Heat are moving on for a date with the Pacers and that the Knicks are starting another long offseason after a season that was never boring. Thanks to injuries, a fire extinguisher and a long-awaited home win, it wasn't a boring ending.
But it was an ending, a bitter one given how depleted the Knicks were and how close they seemed to better results this season. They never could really pressure the Heat outside of Game Four and the last game wasn't too much different.
It wasn't a particularly energetic game, especially when you think back to Game Four at the Garden, and the Heat seemed to be in cruise control for long stretches of the game. When they'd come to life, it would result in a flurry of points -- Dwyane Wade put on a show near the end of the first half -- and the Knicks would be even farther away from mounting a serious challenge.
Those intermittent bursts of energy were more than the Knicks could muster. There were moments in the game when it seemed that they were content to be on the wrong end of a gentleman's sweep, which has a lot to do with the fact that they wound up being just that.
Even Tyson Chandler, who never took a night off, looked like he was in lower gear than normal. Just looking at Toney Douglas playing meaningful minutes and Jared Jeffries lugging his leg around like it had an anchor tied to it was enough to realize that there just weren't enough bodies available for the Knicks to put up much of a fight. That said, it would have been nice to see the kind of effort that they managed in New York.
The offense had some flashes in the first quarter, mostly because Mike Bibby buried open looks like it was 10 years ago, but it became almost totally stagnant in the third quarter. Every trip ended with a bad shot by Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith, who showed up to the game with a mohawk that should have presaged a bad outcome on the court.
Anthony actually made some incredibly difficult shots over the course of the evening, but his overall performance was as erratic as it was in the first three games of the series. It didn't help that Amar'e Stoudemire picked up his fifth foul, on a particularly stupid reach-in foul, early in the third quarter and left the Knicks without too many other offensive options.
They fought as hard as they could, but, in the end, the Knicks were simply worn down by a combination of their own issues and the fact that the Heat were just a better team when all things are considered. Beating Miami with a full complement of weapons wouldn't have been easy, but it was just about impossible to do it with the players on hand.
That shouldn't be taken as a way of taking the Knicks off the hook for the way this year ended. Winning a single playoff game isn't anything to hold a parade about, no matter how long it has been since the team won one.
These Knicks had the capability to be more than a first-round patsy this season, and the fact that they weren't means that there's not much joy to be taken from this outcome. Things could have been very different this season, but they weren't because the team's dysfunction was worthy of its own soap opera.
Having a full offseason raises the hope that things will be better next season, but there are going to be changes to the mix before next season. We'll get into that in the days and weeks to come, but take a picture and remember this team because you'll never see it again.
After one of the wilder 71-game runs you could ever hope to see, the 2011-2012 Knicks have reached their final resting place. We shall remember them fondly and with an aching sense of what could have been.