There were occasions when the lead was difficult to maintain. After that, there was a pause in the shooting. The atmosphere across the building became tense. The Miami Heat would get into some difficulty several times during the game.
They succeeded in doing so once more by finding a solution.
The journey of the eighth-seeded Heat, who are currently on the verge of making yet another trip to the Eastern Conference finals, remains as unpredictable as ever. Miami is currently in third place in the Eastern Conference. On Monday night, the Miami Heat defeated the New York Knicks 109-101 thanks to the combined efforts of Jimmy Butler, who scored 27 points and ten assists, and Bam Adebayo, who finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
According to Erik Spoelstra, the head coach of the Heat, “It was great that we were able to hold home court.” “However, we know we have a mission in New York.”
They will enter Game 5 of this East semifinal series with a lead of 3-1 and will look to win it on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. With a victory, they will finish this series and advance to the conference finals for the third time in the last four seasons.
Butler stated, “I believe we are very capable of completing the assigned task.”
The Heat were led in scoring by Max Strus with 16 points, Kyle Lowry with 15 points, and Caleb Martin with 10 points. In this NBA playoff structure, which is now in its 40th season, Miami became just the fourth No. 8 seed to win at least seven games, and it did so to become the new record holder. On their journey to the NBA Finals, the 1999 New York Knicks won a total of 12 games, while Memphis won a total of seven in 2011, and Philadelphia won a total of seven in 2012.
Jalen Brunson finished the game with 32 points and 11 assists for the fifth-seeded New York Knicks, while RJ Barrett had 24 points and Julius Randle had 20 points for the Knicks before fouling out with almost three minutes remaining.
Tom Thibodeau, the head coach of the Knicks, remarked that to win a series, his team needed to take four of the five games. “At this point, the only thing on our minds is ensuring we win the next match. Proceed by quarters from this point forward. To win the game, you must first win the first quarter, the second quarter, the third quarter, and finally, the fourth quarter. After then, on the following day, we will focus our attention.
Although Miami missed 12 of its first 15 attempts to start the fourth quarter, the Knicks could only cut the Heat’s lead by three points despite having this opportunity. Brunson’s two free throws with 4 minutes and 40 seconds remaining brought New York as close as 99-93. Going into the fourth, the lead was nine, and Brunson’s free throws brought the score to that.
But a smash by Martin brought some energy into an impatient building, and about a minute later, the roars got a bit louder than they had been before. Randle attempted to drive the lane as the Knicks were trailing by seven points, but Strus beat him to the area and drew contact, which resulted in the New York superstar receiving his sixth foul with 3:08 remaining in the game. The remainder of the game was decided by The Heat’s ability to maintain control.
Barrett stated that his opponent’s team had “some tough guys that get respect” and were good at getting offensive rebounds and loose balls. “I give them the benefit of the doubt. They are putting in a lot of effort right now. They have players who are scoring on almost every possession, they are getting calls, and they are pulling down rebounds. They are putting a lot of effort into their game. In addition to that, we gave it our all.”
The Knicks did not take the lead at any point in Game 3, but they did so twice in Game 4.
They held a couple of one-point leads in the first quarter for a combined 33 seconds before Miami erased the deficits with quick baskets on its following possession.
On the other hand, in contrast to Game 3, in which Miami maintained a lead of more than ten points for practically the length of each of the final three quarters, the outcome was in serious doubt for most of the game.
Barrett’s 3-pointer with 7:07 left in the third quarter brought the score to 67-65 for the Knicks, cutting an 11-point lead to just two points. However, the Knicks could not get over the hump and win the game. Late in the third quarter, the Heat ran 8-1 during a two-minute span to regain their 11-point lead. Going into the fourth quarter, the score was 90-81 in favor of Miami, and they could maintain their advantage.
Brunson characterized the situation as “we are kind of fighting an uphill battle.” “In the allotted time, I could not accomplish as much as I had hoped.”
A Miami squad that was approximately three minutes away from being ousted from the play-in tournament is now one win away from making it to the final four of the NBA playoffs.
It could surprise many people, but the Heat was not at all surprised by it.
This year, as Strus put it, “we have been put through our paces.” “And we knew that when the battles would come, we would be ready for it,” the narrator says.
Immanuel Quickley was ruled out for the Knicks after suffering a damaged ankle in the final minutes of Game 3. His availability for Game 5 is now listed as questionable, and he is regarded as being day-to-day… Quentin Grimes, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday then, replaced Josh Hart in the starting lineup for New York, which resulted in the Knicks making a lineup change overall. The New York Knicks had six offensive rebounds given up to their opponents through the first three-quarters of the game, but in the fourth quarter, they gave up seven offensive rebounds by themselves.
Adebayo, who plays for the Heat, kicked seven field goals in the first half of the game. It was the first time in his 473 career NBA games that he had so many dunks before halftime. Five of them were dunks. The Heat’s record of 7-2 in the first two rounds of the playoffs is tied for the fifth-best in franchise history. They finished with a record of 8-1 in 2005, 2013, 2014, and 2020, all years in which they advanced to the NBA Finals. During one drive early in the fourth quarter, Miami could not convert any of its four 3-point attempts.