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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, May 9, 2000

N. B. A. _ H A W A I I

Knicks, Heat series
will get hotter

Associated Press


MIAMI -- The New York Knicks are calling it a must-win situation. So are the Miami Heat.

And tonight is only Game 2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.

New York doesn't want to fall behind by two games, and Miami would like to sweep its opening home games against the Knicks for the first time. These teams have split their first two playoffs games each of the last three years, all played in Miami.

"That's all we're thinking about right now. We have to come out like we're down," Heat guard Tim Hardaway said. "It's a must win for us, so we can go to New York up 2-0."

Added forward P.J. Brown: "It's like Game 1 never happened. We need to come out even more desperate."

The Knicks have a similar game plan following Sunday's 87-83 loss.

"We can recover," guard Allan Houston said. "We just have to learn from it. That's the key to a playoff series -- how you respond and how you recover. We're faced with a game we must win, and that's how we're approaching it."

New York won Game 1 in Miami last season and in their 1997 playoff series, but the Heat rebounded to earn a split both times. The 1998 series also started 1-1, although it was Miami that opened with a win.

Each series has gone the distance, the Heat winning 4-3 in 1997, the Knicks winning 3-2 in 1998 and 1999. Given their history, both teams expect this series to go seven games.

That's why neither team is too high or too low after Game 1.

"It's only been one game, and that game could have went either way," Knicks guard Latrell Sprewell said. "We didn't play particularly well and we had a shot at winning."


Bullet New York at Miami TV, TNT, 5 p.m.
Bullet Utah at Portland TV, TNT, 7:30 p.m.


Bullet Indiana at Philadelphia TV, TNT, 5 p.m
Bullet Phoenix at L.A. Lakers TV, TNT, 7:30 p.m.

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