Miami Heat defeat New York Knicks 109-101 to take commanding 3-1 lead as the series heads back to Madison Square Garden for a potential final game
- Butler led the way for Miami with 27 points to continue a dominate post season
- Jalen Brunson had a team-high 32 points for New York in the crucial defeat
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Jimmy Butler had 27 points and 10 assists, Bam Adebayo finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds and the Miami Heat moved a win away from their third trip to the Eastern Conference finals in the last four years by topping the New York Knicks 109-101 on Monday night.
Max Strus scored 16 points, Kyle Lowry added 15 and Caleb Martin had 10 for the Heat. Miami, the No. 8 seed, leads the East semifinal series 3-1, with Game 5 – and the first potential clincher – awaiting in New York on Wednesday night.
Jalen Brunson finished with 32 points and 11 assists for fifth-seeded New York, while RJ Barrett had 24 points and Julius Randle scored 20 for the Knicks before fouling out with about three minutes left.
Miami missed 12 of its first 15 shots of the fourth quarter, but the Knicks didn’t take full advantage – trimming only three points off the Heat lead in that span.
It was nine entering the fourth, and a pair of free throws by Brunson with 4:40 left got New York within 99-93.
The Miami Heat defeated the New York Knicks in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead in their series
Jimmy Butler led the way for the Heat with 26 points to continue with his dominate post season
Jalen Brunson had a team-high 30 points for New York in the crucial Game 4 defeat
But a slam by Martin breathed some life into an antsy building, and the roars got a bit louder about a minute later. With the Knicks down seven, Randle went into the lane – but Strus beat him to the spot, drawing contact that became the New York star’s sixth foul with 3:08 left, and the Heat held control the rest of the way.
The Knicks never led in Game 3, then held the lead twice in Game 4.
They had a pair of one-point leads in the opening quarter, for a combined 33 seconds, and with Miami erasing the deficits with immediate baskets on its next possession.
But unlike Game 3, when Miami´s lead was double digits for nearly the entirety of the final three quarters, this one remained in some doubt much of the way. Miami didn´t get its first 10-point lead until a 3-pointer by Strus with 3:23 left in the half, and whenever the Heat seemed poised to pull away New York had an answer.
The Knicks cut what was an 11-point deficit down to 67-65 on a 3-pointer by Barrett with 7:07 left in the third, but never got all the way over the hump. An 8-1 spurt over a two-minute stretch late in the third restored the 11-point lead, and Miami´s cushion was 90-81 going into the fourth.