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SPORTS

Knicks Come from 21 Down to Beat Heat 100-98 and Stay Alive in the In-Season Tournament

November 25, 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 24 points, Immanuel Quickley came off the bench to add 20 and spark a huge turnaround, and the New York Knicks rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat the Miami Heat 100-98 on Friday night and stay alive in the NBA’s In-Season Tournament.

RJ Barrett finished with 18 points for the Knicks, who fell way behind after surrendering a 19-0 run to begin the second half, then rallied by outscoring the Heat 29-11 in the fourth quarter.

“It’s special. It’s pretty cool, I am not going to lie,” Brunson said.

Jimmy Butler scored 23 points and Bam Adebayo had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, whose offense sputtered in the last period, shooting 3 for 18 from the field and missing their last six shots.

Butler missed a potential winning 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

“I definitely thought that was going in … I am always going to go for the win,” he said. “We’re going to live with the result, but I guarantee I am making the next one.”

The Knicks tied the Heat at 2-1 in the Eastern Conference’s Group B, where the Milwaukee Bucks are in first place at 3-0. They face the Heat in the final group game for both teams.

It was the first meeting of the season between the Knicks and Heat since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, which Miami won en route to the NBA Finals.

And being that it was an In-Season Tournament matchup, it added another chapter to the heated rivalry between the two franchises.

Brunson is already getting used to the history after 11 contests – four regular-season games last season plus six in the playoffs.

“It’s definitely different, but still there,” he said. “I played with (Miami) coach (Eric) Spoelstra in the summer and every time I saw him I didn’t want to like the guy, but I ended up liking him. Great coach, great dude.”

The Heat trailed by one point to start the second half before scoring the first 19 points to take a 69-51 lead with 7:58 to play in the third quarter.

They extended their lead to 83-62 with 3:40 left in the period thanks to a three-point play from Butler.

New York trailed 96-87 with 3:50 left in the fourth quarter before mounting a furious comeback. The Knicks then rattled off 12 straight points, including a three-point play from RJ Barrett that put New York ahead 97-96 with 1:59 to play before Brunson’s jumper from the left wing that extended the lead 99-96 with 1:24 left.

Adebayo hit a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 99-98 with 15 seconds to go before Brunson hit a free throw but missed the second.

Butler isolated Barrett and launched a potential game-winning shot before he missed in front of the Knicks bench.

“I seen that shot go in, not just from him, but when you play basketball for so long, you see so many game-winners they all look the same,” Quickley said. “I just said, ‘Please don’t go in.’”

UP NEXT:

Heat: Visit the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night to conclude their five-game road trip.

Knicks: Continue their four-game homestand, hosting the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.

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