Friday evening painted ... well, another wild picture for the team in the 305, but Julius Randle’s 43 points and last-second god-like fadeaway with less than two seconds left sunk the Miami Heat’s ship, 122-120, giving the New York Knicks their eighth straight win and handing the Heat their third straight home loss.
When you get the Mike Breen double “BANG!” against you, you know it wasn’t your night in the worst possible moment.
“BANG! BANG!”— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 4, 2023
Never gets old, Mike Breen pic.twitter.com/CL6gv08FAV
After a poor first half, the Heat ended up shooting 48.1 percent from the floor, led by Jimmy Butler, who finished with 33 points and eight rebounds on 7-of-15 shooting, including 18-of-20 from the free-throw line. Bam Adebayo had 18 points — 14 in the second-half — on 7-of-16 shooting, while Tyler Herro finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
But Randle was the best player on the floor, knocking down
all 7,453,456 of his contested shots 16 of his 25 attempts, ultimately ending with a game-high 43 points. Jalen Brunson had 25 points with eight assists; Immanuel Quickley added 21 points while R.J. Barrett tallied 17 points.
Miami, who trailed by as many as 17 points, shot 48.1 percent, including 12-of-28 (48.0 percent) from deep, though New York managed to sink 58 percent of their shots and 41.5 percent (17-41) of their 3-point attempts.
The Heat (33-31) have now lost six of their last seven games, including four of five since the All-Star break and are two games removed from the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference — not great, Bob.
The Knicks have now won eight straight for the second time this season, improving to 11 games over .500 at 38-27 and are one-game back of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the No. 4 seed in the East.
Tyler Herro’s second triple of the opening quarter put Miami ahead 17-14, prompting a Knick timeout. Herro and Butler accounted for 15 of the Heat’s first 17 points. Two straight Randle 3-pointers capped off an 11-0 Knicks run, giving them the 32-26 lead with 1:54 left in the first quarter. Randle’s stepback trey — giving him 20 points — made it 37-31 after one quarter.
New York’s lead — without Butler and Adebayo on the floor to begin the second quarter — buoyed to 13. Barrett’s left-handed lay-in made it 15 with 5:54 to go in the half.
The Knicks shot 63.4 percent (26-41) — including 10-of-22 from 3-point range — in the first half, leading 71-56. Miami shot 40.0 percent and 5-of-14 from beyond the arc; Butler led the Heat with 19 points, five boards and two steals, while Randle flashed 25 points and six boards.
Friday evening marked the first time in franchise history that Miami surrendered 70 points in the first half in consecutive games.
This is the first time in the Heat's 35 seasons that have given up 70 or more points in the first half in consecutive games.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) March 4, 2023
Adebayo, who had just four first-half points, strung together six straight to open the final 24 minutes that trimmed the deficit to nine. Herro’s floater midway through cut it to nine, but yet another Randle triple — his seventh — re-upped the Knicks advantage to eight.
Miami had a 29-point third quarter from Herro (13), Adebayo (10) and Butler (6) alone, but still headed into the final period down by eight. A pair of Victor Oladipo 3-pointers cut the deficit to two with 6:05 remaining.
Caleb Martin’s triple gave Miami the 107-106 lead, their first lead since the opening quarter, but New York quickly re-took the lead. Brunson’s floater with two minutes left widened its advantage to four.
Miami eventually re-took the lead with less than 30 seconds left, courtesy of a Herro floater, but Randle — despite excellent, chaotic defense — had the final laugh, capping off his 43-point night in perfect fashion.