The New York Knicks secured another chance as they claimed a thrilling 112-103 victory on Wednesday in Game 5 against the Miami Heat, avoiding elimination and bringing the series to 3-2 in favor of Miami.
The series will now return to Miami for Game 6, with the Heat hoping to prevent becoming the 14th instance in league history to squander a 3-1 series lead.
Jalen Brunson emerged as the Knicks’ superhero once more, finishing the game with 38 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and shooting 54% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc in the victory.
He also played all 48 minutes of the game, single-handedly carrying the Knicks as their season hung in the balance.
After a dismal first quarter, where the Knicks trailed 24-14, Brunson matched the team’s first-quarter point total by scoring 14 of his own in the second quarter. This amounted to an 18-point first half and provided New York with a much-needed spark.
“What can you say about the guy?” Head Coach Tom Thibodeau remarked about Brunson. “He’s just incredible.”
Julius Randle also had a slow start, going just 1-7 from the floor in the first quarter and suffering an eye poke in the opening minutes. However, Randle did not miss a shot afterward.
He went 6-6 from the floor, including four three-pointers in the remaining three quarters, and finished the game with 24 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The Kncisk capitalized on poor Miami shooting:
The Heat’s cold shooting night allowed the Knicks to establish a 19-point lead at one point in the game. Miami shot just 42% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc in Game 5, while New York shot nearly 50% from the field and 38% from three.
RJ Barrett maintained his streak of dominant postseason performances with a 26-point game, including three successful three-pointers. Since Game 3 of Round 1 against the Cavs, Barrett is averaging 22.5 points and shooting 49.6% from the field and 38% from beyond the arc.
Quentin Grimes, along with Brunson, played all 48 minutes on Wednesday. While he scored only eight points, he made arguably the game’s most significant defensive play by stealing the ball from Jimmy Butler in the final minute, despite limping from a Bam Adebayo screen just seconds before, ultimately helping to secure the victory.
The Knicks played a hard-fought game at home to keep their season alive, and they still have a chance to triumph over the Heat in the series. However, they must succeed in Miami, something they have not accomplished this series, as Game 6 returns there.
The Knicks will aim to force a Game 7 on Friday night.
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