Placed inside the Knicks locker room stalls sat a new motivational message on a sheet of blue-and-orange paper. It read “Embrace the Pressure.’’ The Knicks instead wilted under it.

LeBron James has a trusty sidekick in Dwyane Wade down the stretch. Carmelo Anthony has J.R. Smith. That, in a nutshell, was the difference yesterday between the Knicks and Heat — and may be the difference if the rivals meet in the Eastern Conference finals.

The Heat thrived under the pressure and gained a measure of revenge. The defending champs erased a 14-point halftime lead in beating the Knicks for the first time this season, 99-93 at the celebrity-filled Garden, expunging two early-season 20-point losses. The Knicks made a statement they are still for real — but for just one half.

With Woodson choosing to sit Amar’e Stoudemire the final 7 minutes, 56 seconds, James and Co. shut down Anthony late and let Smith botch the afternoon as Miami’s winning streak reached 14 games.

The loss, combined with the Pacers’ 97-92 win over the Bulls, dropped the Knicks a game behind Indiana and into third place in the East.

James finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three steals while Wade punched in 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Harassed by James and a steady double team, Melo was held to just eight points in the second half — four in the fourth quarter — to finish with 32.