Miami too hot to handle for the Knicks
Julius Randle's return to the lineup failed to inspire the Knicks to victory on Monday as they once again came up short when going for a fourth straight win this season. The Heat need to have a big second half of the season and they showed their intentions in the Garden. Final Score: Miami 98-88 Knicks
RJ Barrett has been the main man for New York over the past week but he managed just 8 points against the Miami defense while Jimmy Butler & Bam Adebayo dominated on both ends of the court to ensure the win for the Heat.
In a battle between two teams that pride themselves on their defense, a low scoring affair was always likely with victory going to whichever teams stars showed up and that's exactly how it played out.
As per usual the Knicks started slow and found themselves down by nine before turning the game on its head with some crucial contributions from their fringe players and went in at the break with a seven point advantage. 43-36.
Randle was struggling on the offensive end and Miami took advantage in the third as Butler took control, scoring 15 of his 27 points in the quarter as the Heat all but secured the win, outscoring the Knicks 39-21.
Bench scoring was a key component for both teams during the game with Derrick Rose & Immanuel Quickley combining for 28 for the Knicks and Tyler Herro dropping 18 pts 3 reb & 4 assists for Miami, including a crucial flurry of scoring to begin the fourth quarter, all but icing the win.
Adebayo added some crucial plays down the stretch as he finished with a 20 point 17 rebound double double. In a game of small margins the Heat managed to find the offensive spark that New York couldn't and it was enough to secure the road win.
Miami sweep the season series 3-0 with this being the fifth time this season the Knicks have seen a win streak end at 3 (not won four straight all season). The Heat now sit in 8th spot in the East, one game back on the 5th place Knicks.