NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Knicks gave suffering New Yorkers something to cheer with a 104-84 victory over the Miami Heat in their storm-delayed season opener Friday night.

In the first sporting event in New York since Superstorm Sandy, the Knicks dominated a game the Heat players weren’t sure should even be played with the city still so devastated. But the Knicks hoped they could provide a distraction for a few hours, and fans who were able to watch surely loved what they saw from a team that could barely compete with Miami last season.

Steve Novak, a non-factor against the Heat in last season’s playoffs, added 17 points off the bench and Raymond Felton had 14 points and nine assists to begin his second stint with the Knicks.

LeBron James scored 23 points for the Heat, so impressive in a season-opening victory over Boston on Tuesday but never really in this one. Dwyane Wade, who thought the game should be postponed, finished with 15 points and Chris Bosh had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Heat beat the Knicks in five games in last season’s first round, and at least for one night New York appears to have closed the gap on the champs.

Anthony took the microphone before the game and thanked fans for coming out, telling them that this was the “most important time for the city of New York to come together as one and build the city back up.” There was then a moment of silence for the victims of the disaster.

It wasn’t long before it was loud again.

 

ROCKETS 109, HAWKS 102: James Harden continued to shine at the start of his Houston career, scoring a career-high 45 points. Jeremy Lin had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Marcus Morris had 17 points for Houston.

 

BOBCATS 90, PACERS 89: Kemba Walker scored a career-high 30 points in Mike Dunlap’s coaching debut and Charlotte snapped a 23-game losing streak.

 

BULLS 115, CAVALIERS 86: Richard Hamilton and Carlos Boozer each scored 19 points as Chicago routed Cleveland.

 

MAGIC 109, NUGGETS 89: Glen Davis scored 29 points, J.J. Redick added 21 and Orlando’s new Coach Jacque Vaughn recorded his first regular-season NBA victory despite forward Hedo Turkoglu leaving the game with a broken left hand.

 

HORNETS 88, JAZZ 86: Greivis Vasquez hit a driving layup with 1.3 seconds left, leading New Orleans to a dramatic victory over Utah.