The Miami Heat began Friday’s second half on a 19-0 run and led by 21–83-62–with 3:40 left in the third quarter after Jimmy Butler’s ridiculous 11-foot turnaround three-point play.
The Heat’s fourth-quarter collapse cropped up once again due to their snail pace and offensive stagnation. After entering up 16, the Heat scored just 11 points in the final 12 minutes and were outscored 29-11, as the Knicks survived a must-win In-Season Tournament contest inside Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks entered the evening 1-1 and would have been eliminated with a loss; the Heat, on the other hand, entered Friday 2-0 with the chance to remain the only undefeated squad heading into Tuesday’s group stage finale against Milwaukee, who’s also undefeated.
Miami’s 45.8 fourth-quarter offensive rating was its worst of any quarter this season–the second-worst being when it had a 57.7 offensive rating in the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 12.
Friday night also marks its second 21-point lead blown in less than a week, blowing a 22-1 lead against the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 18. The Heat shot a dismal 3-of-21 in the final frame, including 1-of-8 from beyond the arc; the Knicks, meanwhile, canned 11 of their 19 shot attempts in the final quarter and 4-of-9 from deep.
Miami shot 39.1 percent from the game and 10-of-37 (27.0 percent) from 3-point range. Jimmy Butler, who attempted the potential game-winning 3-pointer over R.J. Barrett as time expired, finished with a team-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 3-of-5 from distance.
Butler awkwardly landed on his right ankle midway through the second quarter, but remained in the game.
Bam Adebayo posted yet another 20-10 double-double, tallying 21 points and 12 rebounds on 8-of-16 shooting, in addition to two steals and two assists. Josh Richardson had 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, while Jaime Jaquez also scored 15 points with five rebounds, four assists and one steal.
Jalen Brunson scored a game-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting with three boards and three assists. Immanuel Quickley had 20 points–14 points in the second half–with four made 3-pointers.
Fortunately enough, the Heat have a quick opportunity to turn the script around with a second leg of a back-to-back Saturday evening against the Brooklyn Nets. The Heat are 1-1 against the Nets this season.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.
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