Knicks fall 108-101 at the Garden, drop game 1 to the Miami Heat
The New York Knicks kicked off their second round playoff series against the Miami Heat without their star player, Julius Randle, who was sidelined due to his problematic ankle.
It was a tough break for the Knicks, who faced a Heat team that just knocked out the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round. The game was an intense battle between two tough teams, with the Heat eventually pulling out a 108-101 victory to take a 1-0 series lead.
Despite the absence of Randle, the Knicks managed to keep things close for most of the game. Jalen Brunson stepped up big time, scoring 25 points, and RJ Barrett had a game-high 26 points. Obi Toppin, who replaced Randle in the starting lineup, also had a strong performance with 18 points. However, it wasn’t enough to secure a win for the Knicks.
The Heat’s Jimmy Butler led his team with 25 points, but it was his late-game heroics that sealed the victory. With just a few minutes left in the game, Butler twisted his ankle and screamed in agony. But instead of leaving the court, he decided to tough it out and finish the game. His grit and determination inspired his team to step up and secure the win.
The Knicks struggled with their shooting from behind the arc, going just 7-34 from three-point range. Brunson was particularly cold, shooting 0-7 from deep, while Josh Hart went 0-4 and Barrett hit just 1-5. Toppin was the only Knick to have success from beyond the arc, making 4 of 11 attempts.
“There were key moments in the game where you need to finish strong and be strong, and that starts with me. Today I was horrific. Very uncharacteristic of me and this one’s on me. I got to get better.”
– Jalen Brunson
The Knicks got off to a strong start in the second quarter, building a 12-point lead behind Brunson and Barrett’s combined 28 points. However, the Heat made a comeback late in the second to cut the Knicks lead to 55-50 at halftime. The Heat then outscored the Knicks 31-20 in the third quarter, with Max Strus scoring all of his 8 points in that period.
The Heat got solid contributions from Gabe Vincent with 20 points, Bam Adebayo with 16 points, and Kyle Lowry with 18 points off the bench. Lowry and Adebayo scored half of their points in the final act, when it counted most.
In attendance for the game were Knicks and Heat legends Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning, who were treated to a thrilling playoff game. The Knicks will need to regroup and find a way to bounce back in Game 2 to avoid falling into a 2-0 hole in the series.
Up-next: Game 2 of the series will be on Tuesday night from 7:30 in New York.