New York, NY (Sports Network) - Jamal Crawford had a game-high 29 points, as the New York Knicks began the 2008-09 season and the Mike D'Antoni era with a 120-115 victory over the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
Zach Randolph scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Knicks, who are coming off a miserable 23-59 campaign. Wilson Chandler added 17 points and nine boards off the bench, while Quentin Richardson and David Lee both collected 16 points, with the latter pulling down 11 boards.
After two tumultuous seasons with Isiah Thomas manning the sidelines, new team president Donnie Walsh removed Thomas and brought in former Phoenix bench boss D'Antoni, who captured Coach of the Year honors in 2004-05.
Dwyane Wade poured in 26 points on 9-of-24 shooting, dished out nine assists and grabbed seven rebounds to pace the Heat, who finished with a league-worst 15-67 record last season and lost in Erik Spoelstra's debut as head coach. Udonis Haslem finished with 23 points and 10 boards, while Michael Beasley, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, tallied nine points.
Trailing 104-83 with 6:43 to go in the fourth quarter, the Heat mounted a furious comeback as Daequan Cook's three-pointer made it 108-102 with 2:24 remaining, but Crawford answered with a three of his own.
With 13 seconds left, Cook nailed another shot from beyond the arc, trimming the deficit to 118-115. After Crawford sank both free throws, Cook's three- point try was off the mark and the Knicks escaped with the win.
New York had a 28-27 lead after one quarter, but as a Haslem tip-in put the Heat up 39-37 with a little over six minutes remaining in the second frame. The Knicks then proceeded to go on a 23-6 run to head into the break up 60-45. Randolph and Richardson led the charge for New York, combining to score 19 points during the spurt.
The Knicks continued to pull away in the third, stretching the lead to 84-61 after Chandler sank 1-of-2 free throws. Miami managed to cut the deficit to 13 at one point, but headed into the final quarter down 91-75.