Jalen Brunson scores 38 points to keep Knicks season alive with 112-103 win in Game 5
In a must-win game, the Knicks were able to stave off elimination and push the series to a game 6 with a 112-103 victory over the Heat. The Knicks managed to hold off a late comeback attempt by the Heat to secure the victory and keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Knicks built a commanding 19-point lead in the third quarter, but the Heat wouldn’t go down without a fight. They mounted a comeback and cut the Knicks’ lead to just two points, 103-101, with 2:37 left on the clock. However, the Knicks remained composed and made crucial plays down the stretch to seal the win.
One of the key moments came when Quentin Grimes appeared to injure his knee. Despite the setback, Grimes showed incredible determination and stripped the ball from Jimmy Butler several seconds later. This defensive play shifted the momentum back in the Knicks’ favor as they held a 107-101 lead with 1:37 remaining.
Mitchell Robinson also made three of four free throws late in the fourth quarter after getting intentionally fouled.
Free-throw shooting played a crucial role in the game, particularly in the fourth quarter. The Knicks went 13-of-16 from the free-throw line in the final period, a stark improvement compared to their 16-of-24 performance in the previous three quarters. The Heat, on the other hand, only shot 19 free throws throughout the game and missed just three.
Jalen Brunson was the standout performer for the Knicks, delivering a stellar performance with a game-high 38 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Brunson played a grueling 48 minutes, demonstrating his importance to the team’s success.
RJ Barrett and Julius Randle also made significant contributions, scoring 26 and 24 points, respectively, with Randle hitting four of his seven attempts from beyond the arc.
The Knicks’ bench struggled to provide scoring, managing only 8 points compared to the Heat’s 42 bench points. However, the Knicks compensated for this with their strong rebounding, outmuscling the Heat on the boards 50-34.
The Knicks had a slow start, committing seven turnovers in the first quarter leading to 12 Miami points, allowing the Heat to outscore them 24-12 in the first quarter.
“I don’t want to say we eased into the game, but things weren’t going our way. We were complaining as a team, and we decided we just gotta play through it.”
– Jalen Brunson
For the Heat, Jimmy Butler led the way with 19 points, followed closely by Bam Adebayo with 18 points and Duncan Robinson with 17 points. However, their efforts weren’t enough to overcome the Knicks’ resilient performance.
The last time two Knicks players played the entire 48 minutes in a playoff game was in 1972 when Walt Frazier and Jerry Lucas accomplished the feat. Jalen Brunson and Quentin Grimes joined this exclusive club with their ironman performances, demonstrating their importance to the team’s success.
With this impressive win, the Knicks have breathed new life into the series, forcing a Game 6 against the Miami Heat. The team’s resiliency and determination will be put to the test once again as they look to continue their playoff journey.
Up-next: Knicks return to Miami for Game 6 on Friday night from 7:30pm