There was a time when the Miami Heat and New York Knicks were in a death match for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

But then the Heat went on a 27-game winning streak and the Knicks went through a debilitating series of injuries.

Yet when the Knicks arrive Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena for the fourth and final meeting of the four-game season series, it is the Knicks who enter hottest, on a league-best eight-game winning streak.

And, yes, the temperature again is rising, as it seemingly always is when it's Heat-Knicks.

This time, it's Knicks point guard Raymond Felton who is talking the talk.

Last week, in an interview with ESPN New York, Felton spoke of how the Knicks set up as a hurdle for the Heat.

"We're definitely one of the teams who gave Miami the most fits this year, so if we get the opportunity to play them in the [Eastern Conference] finals, then I kinda like our chances," he said. "I love our chances, actually."

While the Knicks own a pair of 20-point victories over the Heat, those came early in the season, before the Heat hit their 27-game stride, before players such as Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and Kurt Thomas sustained injuries that have had them out lately.

"Miami is playing at such a high level than when we played them back then, it's not funny," Knicks coach Mike Woodson told reporters in New York. "It will be interesting to see where we stand."

Felton spoke as if he already knew.

"I just feel like we really cause matchup problems for them offensively, and then we match up well with them defensively," he said in his ESPN New York interview. "Like I said, I like our chances."