Not even facial recognition might see that coming.
Without an in poor health and inactive Jalen Brunson, the Knicks held off the surging Miami Heat regardless of bumbling and stumbling by means of the ultimate minute of a 106-104 victory at MSG.
It ended with a possible game-winner from Miami’s Tyler Herro bouncing off the rim, permitting Julius Randle to breathe simple after his turnover almost squandered the sport.
The closing moments have been completely wild. It included two terrible passes and turnovers from RJ Barrett — who was in any other case good Thursday — and a stumble from Randle with 2.1 seconds that was reviewed by the officers as a journey.
But the Knicks (28-25) prevailed, transferring a sport inside the Heat (29-24) for sixth within the Eastern Conference. They received a clutch steal and dunk from Isaiah Hartenstein, who has performed higher within the final two video games with Mitchell Robinson nonetheless out with a damaged thumb.
“We needed that,” Randle stated. “Especially at home. We haven’t played as well as we wanted to here.”
Barrett completed with 30 factors in 41 minutes, taking part in down the stretch this time after being benched within the necessary moments of Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers. It was one thing of a redemption second for the 22-year-old, who primarily served because the ball handler with out Brunson.
“I’m talking to you guys today,” Barrett joked after he declined to speak to the media following Tuesday’s benching. “I’m human I get frustrated sometimes. My mother told me if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
There have been loads of good issues to say about Barrett in opposition to the Heat, the 2 late turnovers however.
“Just shows his growth,” Randle stated about Barrett. “You can pout and kind of sulk because you didn’t play in the game before. But everyone here is all-in on winning. And for him to come in and constantly make the right plays was big. So I’m super proud of him.”
Randle, who was named an All-Star reserve not lengthy earlier than tipoff, added 23 factors and 10 rebounds, together with a dunk with 5.2 seconds remaining.
The Heat are one of many hottest groups within the Eastern Conference, recovering from a poor begin to the season to climb right into a playoff spot. Miami additionally beat the Knicks 9 instances in its final 11 matchups.
But not Thursday.
Brunson was a late scratch with a non-COVID sickness, transferring Immanuel Quickley into the beginning lineup. It represented Brunson’s fourth missed sport of the season, and the Knicks are actually 2-2 with out their place to begin guard.
His DNP Thursday additionally pushed Evan Fournier again into the rotation, because the Frenchman logged 18 minutes and missed six of his seven photographs. Quickley added eight factors in 37 minutes.
Bam Adebayo, who was named an All-Star reserve alongside Randle, led the Heat with 32 factors in 38 minutes.
The third quarter, like the tip of the sport, was a rollercoaster. The Knicks began with 11 straight factors to take a commanding lead, the Heat adopted with a 21-4 run, and the Knicks scored 11 of the ultimate 14 factors. In the tip, the Knicks entered the ultimate interval with a five-point edge.
Coach Tom Thibodeau knew it could be a tricky matchup and the Knicks squeaked by.