LeBron James caught the ball in the high post Friday night in the second quarter of Miami's victory over the Pistons.

James took the pass from former Piston Carlos Arroyo, who took a handoff from James and tried to use James as a screen on his way to the basket.

But Ben Gordon was able to get around the screen and beat Arroyo to the spot -- forcing Arroyo to swing the ball and take more seconds off the shot clock.

And while Gordon was showing signs of breaking out of a shooting slump the past three games entering Sunday's game against the Knicks, it's defense that has caused coach John Kuester to note the efforts of the shooting guard.

"I give Ben a lot of credit, because he is somebody whose on-ball defense is always strong -- he works hard," Kuester said Sunday. "His off-ball against Miami was outstanding, so he's getting better and better."

But the reason Gordon was signed to a 5-year, $55-million deal in the summer of 2009 was because of his offense, and that's showing signs of picking up.

Over the past three games entering Sunday, he averaged 17.3 points and shot 46% from the field. He more than doubled his average Sunday, scoring 35 points on 12-for-21 shooting.

Gordon says it's just a matter of getting more consistent minutes after Rip Hamilton was benched and Rodney Stuckey missed two games with a right shoulder contusion.