Knicks takeaways from Game 4's 109-101 loss to Heat, including rebounding struggles
In a do-or-die Game 4, the Knicks put up a better effort but ended up outclassed and outpoised once again, losing 109-101 to the Miami Heat. They now find themselves down 3-1 in the series, a nearly insurmountable deficit, as they head back to Madison Square Garden.
Here are the takeaways….
- New York once again fell behind early, this time keeping tighter and mounting several comeback attempts. Each one was met with a backbreaking three or untimely turnover.
- The good news is their stars showed up offensively. Jalen Brunson had a 32-point, 11-assist game despite seeing double teams and getting banged up all night.
- RJ Barrett scored 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting. Julius Randle added 20 points and nine rebounds.
- Jimmy Butler led the way for the Heat with 27 points and 10 assists on 9-for-17 shooting. Bam Adebayo added 23, Max Strus scored 16 and Kyle Lowry contributed 15 in the win.
- The Knicks returned to the starting lineup that turned their season around, inserting Quentin Grimes in for Josh Hart.
- Unfortunately the change couldn't inspire a better start from New York, who committed four early turnovers and trailed 17-11 midway through the first quarter. Butler and Adebayo combined for 14 of Miami's points.
- Something clicked, and the Knicks settled down offensively, limiting easy Heat buckets and getting their stars in their spots. Randle dominated inside, Brunson pulled out his repertoire and Barrett continued his ruthless efficiency by scoring to combine for 23 first quarter points. Miami led after the period 31-30 behind four early threes.
- New York's offense hit another wall with the bench in and Immanuel Quickley out of commission. Miami went on a 14-2 run as their visitors scored one point in three minutes to open up the second.
- The Knicks cut the Heat lead to four behind miracle banked in threes from behind the backboard courtesy of Brunson, but went on another scoring drought, ultimately shooting 6-for-21 from the field in the period. Miami got anything it wanted on the other end, and led 56-48 at the half behind 16 Adebayo points.
- New York managed to hang around in the third, even cutting the lead down to one possession midway through the quarter behind some high-effort defense and Barrett buckets. Adebayo continued his feasting inside, bulldozing through Mitchell Robinson and flying high for alley-oops.
- Every Knicks run seemed to get pushed back by self-sabotage or a Heat response. On one play Barrett and Grimes both had an open rebound and humbled it out of bounds.
- While New York fought for every bucket, Miami routinely found easy looks. They led going into the final period, 90-81.
- Down 95-84, Barrett hit a three and then got inside to cut the lead to six. The next play, Butler collected an offensive rebound and finished the putback. Miami killed New York on the offensive glass with seven offensive boards in the final 12 minutes.
- A couple of Brunson buckets in a row gave the Knicks life, and then Caleb Martin burned through a Randle closeout to slam a one-handed flush. So the cycle continued until the buzzer.
- A Randle charge to foul out with three minutes to go was the nail in the coffin.
The Knicks return to New York and play a must-win game against the Miami Heat in Game 5 on Wednesday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.