Kelly Olynyk finished with 22 points and a career-high 10 assists and the Heat rolled past the New York Knicks 119-98 on Wednesday night.
Miami was 5-for-7 from 3-point range in the third, 15-for-34 from beyond the arc for the game, and is now only three makes away from the franchise record of 808 made shots from long range set last season.
“They’re shooting the right ones,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I get that analytics question all the time: `Do you just want to shoot a bunch of threes?’ It depends. You’ve got to have the right guys and you’ve got to shoot the right ones.”
Wayne Ellington scored 16, Justise Winslow added 15, Goran Dragic had 14 and Josh Richardson finished with 12 for the Heat, who remained seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Miami, which once again played without Dwyane Wade (hamstring) and Hassan Whiteside (hip), is now 1 1/2 games ahead of No. 8 Milwaukee after the Bucks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers, and 6 1/2 games clear of No. 9 Detroit.
Olynyk’s previous high for assists was eight, done twice. He scored 52 points, had 16 assists and grabbed 13 rebounds in Miami’s brief two-game homestand, with the Heat winning both outings.
“We’re just real connected right now on both ends of the floor,” Olynyk said. “Guys are playing well together.”
Led by Olynyk, the Heat bench outscored New York’s 62-28.
“Their bench destroyed us,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said.
Enes Kanter scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Knicks. Michael Beasley had a brilliant start and added 22 points on 10 for 15 shooting for New York, and Trey Burke scored 16 off the bench.
Beasley – who had three stints with the Heat – shook hands with Heat managing general partner Micky Arison during one first-half stoppage in play.
Miami’s halftime lead was 64-47, before New York briefly made things interesting. Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 3-pointer got the Knicks within 72-63 with 5 minutes gone in the third, but that’s when Johnson made his back-to-back 3s to restore order.
The lead eventually swelled to 28 and the Heat emptied their bench with 5 minutes left.
– Associated Press