The Knicks pulled victory from the jaws of defeat, redeeming a putrid third quarter to beat the Heat in dramatic fashion.

After a successful 3-2 road trip and four days of rest, the New York Knicks faced off against the Miami Heat in the first-ever in-season tournament game at Madison Square Garden for the start of a four-game home stand. Debuting a new home court the Knicks looked to stave off elimination from said tournament and for some revenge against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last season. The Knicks enjoyed what will probably go down as one of their most improbable wins of the season as they erased a 21-point second-half deficit for a 100-98 victory. 

The Knicks seemed to have no rust early, getting off to an excellent start and connecting in four of their first five shots to quickly build a nine-point lead but the Heat answered in kind with their own run, scoring eight straight points on the back on Bam Adebayo. The Heat would take a two-point lead halfway through the first quarter forcing a Knicks’ timeout. Miami soon extended their advantage to five points but it wouldn’t last as the Knicks battled back and regained the lead but it wouldn’t last as the game became a seesaw affair with the teams trading buckets early. The opening quarter was sloppy for the Knicks as they couldn’t protect the ball and committed six turnovers leading to 13 Heat points. Miami had a slim 28-25 lead heading into the second period. 

The Knicks began the second quarter with the second unit and again it was Adebayo for Miami who was feasting early in the absence of Mitchell Robinson who was on the bench with early foul trouble. Just as it looked like the Heat were about to pull away after getting their lead up to seven the Knicks once again fought back as they buckled down on defense in the final three minutes of the half holding the Heat scoreless coupled with an 8-0 run that culminated with a nice pass from Julius Randle to find Quentin Grimes in the corner for a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the Knicks a skinny 51-50 lead heading into halftime. 

The second half couldn’t have begun worse for the Knicks as the Heat got out to a 19-0 run, taking a commanding 18-point lead and seizing control of the game. New York couldn’t buy a basket while also collapsing defensively; they missed seven straight shots and committed three more turnovers before Jalen Brunson finally connected on a lay-up almost midway through the quarter. The Knicks were almost nonexistent in the third period as Miami continued their assault on them as they outscored New York 37-20, taking an 87-71 lead into the fourth quarter. 

The Knicks showed signs of life early in the fourth quarter cutting Miami’s lead to 12 points after back-to-back Immmanuel Quickley and Donte DiVincenzo three-pointers forcing a Heat timeout. That didn’t stop New York’s momentum as they continued to fight back and were able to cut their deficit to just six points. Miami was able to briefly stop New York’s onslaught with a Josh Richardson three-pointer that would take their lead back up to nine. The Knicks would not be denied however as Jalen Brunson took matters into his own hands helping the Knicks cut the lead to just two points.

RJ Barrett joined the party, completing the Knicks’ comeback by converting an and-one and giving the Knicks a 97-96 lead. Brunson again hit what turned out to be the dagger and the Knicks held on to win the thriller on Jimmy Butler’s missed three-pointer at the final buzzer. The Knicks outscored the Heat 29-11 in the final period keeping their in-season tournament hopes alive.

The second unit showed big time for the Knicks scoring 37 points including 20 from Immanuel Quickley who sparked the team’s late comeback. Jalen Brunson’s clutch gene was in full effect late once again as he poured 24 points. RJ Barrett was outstanding down the stretch with a timely 18 points to go with seven rebounds. Julius Randle filled the stat sheet in good and bad ways with 13 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists but he had six of the team’s 19 turnovers. 

Next up, the Knicks welcome the Phoenix Suns Sunday from MSG at 6 PM. 

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