The New York Knicks connected on 18 three-pointers to more than offset Carmelo Anthony's absence and whip host Miami, 112-92, Thursday night.

While Anthony sat out with a cut on the middle finger of his left hand, Raymond Felton scored 27 points, Steve Novak added 18, and J.R. Smith and Tyson Chandler each had 13 for the Knicks, who won their fifth straight.

LeBron James nearly picked up his second straight triple-double - 31 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists - in Miami's second straight loss. The Heat fell to 8-1 at home.

The game was tied at 53 at the half, but the third quarter changed everything for the Knicks. Jason Kidd made a three-pointer, Felton followed with consecutive threes, and just like that New York (14-4) was up by nine with 9 minutes, 42 seconds left in the period. The Heat (12-5) never recovered.

New Orleans Pelicans?

NBA commissioner David Stern the other day said the New Orleans Hornets had yet to file the paperwork needed to change the team's name, adding that whatever name team owner Tom Benson chose would be "sensible."

We say, don't count on it. This is a league filled with jarring contradictions, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, and, worst of all, Utah Jazz.

Heck these names are not only implausible, they're downright goofy.

There are no lakes in L.A., and no maritime heritage either, which makes the name "clipper" totally dumb. As for "raptors," the name just doesn't come to mind when thinking of Toronto, or Canada. Finally, jazz in Utah? Come on.

Which brings us to the most-talked-about name for the New Orleans franchise: Pelicans.

At least it's not a flat-out contradiction.

For the record

The Heat's LeBron James and the Thunder's Kevin Durant were named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference players of the month for October and November.

James averaged 25 points per game, 8.9 rebounds, and 6.5 assists to lead Miami to an 11-3 mark, matching the team's best start through 14 games. Durant averaged 26.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists to help Oklahoma City get off to a 13-4 start.

Also, the Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and the Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard were named rookies of the month.

Lillard led all rookies in scoring with an 18.4 average, assists (5.9), and steals (1.38). Camden native Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 10.9 points per game, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.2 steals.