Felton leads Knicks' shooting onslaught

MIAMI -- With the Knicks' No. 1 offensive option, Carmelo Anthony, out of the lineup on Thursday night, Raymond Felton's facilitating the pick-and-roll became top priority.

And the Knicks' starting point guard did not disappoint.

Felton finished with a team-high 27 points to go along with seven assists and two steals, leading the Knicks to another 20-point defeat of the defending champs.

"Raymond has been playing unbelievable," Tyson Chandler said after the game. "He's running the show, carrying the ship, keeping the turnovers down, which is huge for us, especially on the road."

So what was Felton's main point of emphasis Thursday night with Anthony sidelined? Be more aggressive.

"I think my teammates -- Jason Kidd, Sheed, Kurt, even Melo -- all these guys have been great to me for keeping my confidence up and staying in my head telling me, 'Let's go. You're the engine that makes us go. You've got to be aggressive,'" he said. "Even when I'm struggling from the field, they're still telling me, 'Be aggressive, be aggressive.' So for those guys to have that confidence in me, it feels a whole lot better."

At the start of the game, Felton and Chandler were clicking in the pick-and-roll, and the point guard attacked open lanes with an extra gear and finished strong at the rim. Then, when the Heat began switching -- which they did a lot -- leaving a big man on Felton, he went right at him, nailing a couple of in-your-face 3-pointers. He also demonstrated some snazzy shake-and-bake moves, including a nasty hesitation crossover on Udonis Haslem in the first quarter, which concluded with a right-handed layup high off the glass.

"My handles feel good every night. That's part of my game. That's what got me where I'm at today," he said after the game. "It was me just being aggressive, man. I didn't expect no isos, but after the first couple of times when they were trying to show out and I was splitting the defense and getting into the paint, they started just switching, so when they did that, then it turned into some isos and I just attacked the bigs."

After the half, Felton did a great job of increasing the Knicks' pace and efficiency, which led to 8-for-12 3-point shooting within about a six-minute span. J.R. Smith discussed the offensive adjustment after the game.

"They're a great half-court defensive team, so we just pushed the ball and made their big guys run, get them tired," he said. "I mean, the only real person that's unbelievably gifted out there is LeBron [James], so if we tire everybody else out, nobody else can keep up with him."

Felton had three 3-pointers himself in the third period. And he did it still recovering from a contusion and bone bruise on his left hand, which he injured on Sunday against the Suns.

"I always knew he was capable of it," Smith said of Felton. "I think it was tough for him because of that thumb injury. But the way he shot the ball was unbelievable. ... Once you get that rhythm of the game, if you're hurt or not, you're lights-out."

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