The Knicks squeaked out a win against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night, winning 106-104.
Here are the key takeaways...
- Fresh off his second career All-Star selection, Julius Randle came out firing from deep going 3-for-4 from behind the line on his first four shot attempts. He cooled off later in the quarter but finished with 12 points through the first.
- Despite going a respectable 5-of-13 from three-point range to start the game, the Knicks' starting five did not shoot the ball particularly well as players not named Randle or Quentin Grimes, who had 10 points in the first quarter, went 0-for-5 from deep.
RJ Barrett had four points, Immanuel Quickley, who got the start in place of Jalen Brunson who was out with a non-COVID illness, had two points and Jericho Sims was kept scoreless in the first.
- After Grimes nailed a three-pointer to give New York a 13-point lead with 2:35 left in the quarter, the Heat finished on a 7-0 run to make it 28-22 after one.
- The Knicks' shooting woes that ended the first continued in the second quarter as they were held without a field goal for about five consecutive minutes, separated by the quarter, until Barrett knocked down a floater that gave New York a 32-29 lead.
- But after that made field goal, the Heat continued to peck away and eventually took the lead on Bam Adebayo's three-point play with 8:48 left in the half. It was Miami's first lead since it was 2-0 at the start of the game.
- Evan Fournier responded with a deep three to give the Knicks the lead right back but Max Strus' two three-pointers gave the Heat their largest lead of the night at 42-37 and 5:21 remaining.
- From that point on, though, New York went on a 14-6 run to close out the half and led 51-48 with the second half left to play.
- The Knicks began the third quarter much like they finished the second quarter, going on an 11-0 run, this time highlighted by Barrett who had nine of the 11 points. The Heat didn't score their first bucket of the quarter until 7:04 was left on the clock.
- Following New York's scoring run came Miami's as the Heat went on a 19-2 run of their own thanks in part to Tyler Herro's three consecutive three-pointers. Triples from Caleb Martin and Kyle Lowry gave Miami five straight makes from downtown and the lead once again.
- However, the Knicks ended the quarter on an 11-3 run to go up 77-72 after three quarters.
- New York extended its lead to 11 with 7:23 to go but the Heat would not go down quietly. A 12-3 Miami run cut the Heat's deficit to two points with just under three minutes left. They even cut it to a single point with 52.1 seconds left.
- But the Knicks' defense stood its ground while a dunk by Randle with five seconds remaining gave his team a 106-101 lead.
- Miami made things interesting after Strus hit another three with 2.2 seconds left and then stealing the ball from Randle on the inbounds pass. Herro had a chance to win the game on a last-second three from the corner, but it bounced off the rim and the Knicks won a close one, 106-104.
The Knicks have an off-day on Friday before returning to action on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers at 7:00 p.m.