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Thursday's Heat News: Richardson plays key role in win over Knicks

Heat cruise past Knicks to clinch winning road trip in middle of playoff race: The Heat didn’t need a buzzer-beater this time. A night after using a game-winning tip-in from Hassan Whiteside as time expired to defeat the Pistons, Miami didn’t have to sweat down the stretch in New York. The Heat cruised to a 105-88 win over the Knicks (28-47) on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden to end the three-game road trip with a 2-1 record. Miami (37-38) never trailed in the second half and led by as much as 23 points in the fourth quarter. The loss eliminated the Knicks from the playoff hunt, as Miami went on to move to 26-8 over its past 34 games. -- The Palm Beach Post

NBA officiating report states Hassan Whiteside’s game-winning basket vs. Pistons never should have happened: According to the NBA, the Heat shouldn’t have won Tuesday night’s game against the Pistons. The NBA’s Last Two Minute report indicates that there should have been two fouls on the Heat during the final play that ended with Hassan Whiteside’s game-winning tip-in to lift Miami to a 97-96 victory over Detroit. -- The Palm Beach Post

Richardson provides spark as Heat push past Knicks; now in No. 7 seed: Erik Spoelstra was concerned about a lull. And early on he got plenty of languid and lethargic. But he also got a victory, and at this stage of the season, that's what it's about for the Miami Heat. -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

NBA officiating report: Whiteside should not have had chance for winning tip-in: Upon review, the NBA said Wednesday that the Miami Heat should not have been positioned for Hassan Whiteside's buzzer-beating tip-in at the close of Tuesday's game against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills, citing a pair of officiating errors on the scramble that led to Hassan Whiteside's buzzer-beating tip-in. -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Heat takes out Knicks, moves into seventh place in East: Twenty-four hours after its first at-the-buzzer regular-season win in eight years, the Heat needed no late-game heroics on Wednesday night. This one was settled much earlier, with Miami holding a double-digit lead for nearly all of the fourth quarter and coasting to a 105-88 victory against the woeful Knicks at Madison Square Garden. -- The Miami Herald

Whiteside winner called into question by NBA officiating review: Heat center Hassan Whiteside’s game-winning tip-in against Detroit on Tuesday night, giving the Heat its first regular-season victory at the buzzer in eight years, should never have happened, according to an NBA review of officiating calls in the game. -- The Miami Herald

Credit Whiteside, this coaching staff and Haslem for what Heat is getting from its starting center: Minutes after Hassan Whiteside’s tip-in in Detroit on Tuesday gave the Heat its first regular season at-the-buzzer win in seven years, coach Erik Spoelstra said something as eye-opening as anything he has uttered after a game this season. “Hassan, he is, maybe for the first time, playing more for the guys next to him than he is for himself,” Spoelstra said, adding that "he really cares about the guys in the locker room, and that's one of the most powerful things I've seen as a coach.” -- The Miami Herald