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RJ Barrett (30 points), Knicks withstand Heat’s late comeback

RJ Barrett collected 30 points and eight rebounds and Julius Randle added 23 and 10, respectively, to fuel the host New York Knicks to a 106-104 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday.

Barrett made 13 of 23 shots from the floor to record a bounce-back performance after he was benched for the latter half of the fourth quarter and all of overtime in New York’s 129-123 setback to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

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Randle, who scored 19 points in the first half, was selected as an All-Star Game reserve before the contest.

Quentin Grimes finished with 17 points for the Knicks, who played without Jalen Brunson (non-COVID illness). Brunson was two days removed from scoring 37 points against the Lakers.

Miami’s Bam Adebayo, who also was selected as a reserve for the NBA’s All-Star Game, finished with 32 points and nine rebounds. Tyler Herro drained four 3-pointers to highlight his 25-point performance and Max Strus made five shots from beyond the arc to end up with 17 points for the Heat.

Miami trimmed a five-point deficit to one before Isaiah Hartenstein’s dunk gave New York a 104-101 lead with 33.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Randle’s basket with 5.2 seconds to play provided insurance after Strus drained a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left, however a coaches’ challenge gave the Heat another opportunity. Herro’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark to end the game.

Jimmy Butler’s bucket capped a 21-4 run to give Miami a 69-66 lead late in the third before New York finished the quarter on an 11-3 run. Miles McBride and Grimes highlighted that surge by sinking a 3-pointer.

The Heat scored 20 of the first 29 points of the second quarter to take a 42-37 lead before the Knicks responded with a flourish. Randle scored seven of his team’s final 14 points to end the half and give New York a 51-48 advantage at intermission.

Barrett scored nine points during New York’s 11-0 surge to start the third quarter before the Heat countered with their 21-4 run. Herro drained a trio of 3-pointers and Caleb Martin and Kyle Lowry each connected from beyond the arc during that sequence to give Miami a 69-66 lead.

–Field Level Media

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