The New York Knicks managed to defeat the Miami Heat after a wild finish. Mike Miller’s guys had more composure and luck against the guests from Florida, posting a 124-121 victory in a highly intense clash in the Big Apple tonight.
RJ Barrett scored just one of his two free-throw attempts, lifting his Knicks to 124-121. After missing the second one, the Heat called for a timeout, with half a second to go, but they couldn’t do anything in such a short period of time. Previously, the fans saw 11 shots from the line in the last 1:38.
“We were training the right way with that. Guys are stepping at the line with confidence, and they are making free throws.” said Mike Miller. “We shoot a lot of free throws, it is a big part of their routine, so it is good to see those go in.”
Knicks 124, Heat 121
Knicks now 11-29 — NBA's 3rd-worst record
NY breaks a 5-game losing streak; 7-11 under interim HC Mike Miller.
Julius Randle: 26 pts/8 reb/4 ast. RJ Barrett: 23 points.
Jimmy Butler: 25/10/6 but misses crucial FT & has a turnover latehttps://t.co/kslASHufNv pic.twitter.com/1dlNpi9tbR
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) January 12, 2020
The hero of the hosts was Julius Randle, who showed up in the crucial moments of this contest. The strong power forward scored 11 points in the last five and a half minutes, hitting a go-ahead three with 2:16 to go, and making a driving layup with 34.9 seconds before the end.
That basket created a three-point gap, 122-119, and made it possible for the hosts to be under a much lighter pressure than before.
Jimmy Butler missed his third FT with 21 seconds remaining, and a chance to tie the teams at 121-all. This was Miami’s second straight defeat, after losing to Brooklyn Nets last night 117-113.
The first period was close, with both teams changing in the lead. New York was up midway through the period five points, but the guests made a 14-5 run to take the lead after the opening 12 minutes.
Yet, the Knicks came back in the second, and the fans at the Madison Square Garden saw a couple of minutes of a really powerful basketball, in which both teams played robust defenses. As the halftime break approached, the Heat made another short series, 9-2, to take the lead and take off some pressure.
The guests from Florida had the biggest lead in the third, once they ran away to 14 points, 86-72, with Kendrick Nunn and Bam Adebayo leading the way.
Nunn dropped 20 points, and Adebayo had 15 with just seven shots from the field. James Johnson delivered 19 off the bench, while Tyler Herro scored 15.
Butler had a team-high 25 points, with 10 rebounds and 6 dimes.
“He was a passer on couple of times,” Miller explained how Knicks stopped Butler. “Because we did such a good job of bottling him up and we had him in between defenders. He was looking to pass out, and I thought that was the key down the stretch.”
On the other side, Randle also had 26 buckets and grabbed 8 boards. The no.3 pick from this year’s draft RJ Barrett had 23, shooting 7-for-10. Kevin Knox contributed with 17 off the bench, and Reggie Bullock had 16.
After this three-game tour through the East, Miami (27-11) is coming back home. Erik Spoelstra’s crew faces the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, and after that heads for Oklahoma to meet with the Thunder on Friday.
The Knicks (10-29) will jump to Milwaukee on Tuesday to play against the Bucks, and after that came back home to play two games. Their first rivals are going to be the Phoenix Suns and, after that, the 76ers.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.