Jalen Brunson delivered with the New York Knicks’ season on the line. Brunson played the whole game and scored 38 points as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat 112-103 in Game 5.
Brunson and the Knicks forced a Game 6 with the win, which will play place on Friday with the Heat leading 3-2.
While New York won, the Heat seemed to be the more determined team at the outset of the game. After keeping things tight in the first quarter, the Heat went on a 10-2 run in the third. Josh Hart’s disputed flagrant penalty set up the Heat’s late surge to finish the period. Officials affirmed the call after reviewing the play.
Butler, who led the Heat with 19 points, made two of three free throw tries to cut the deficit to six points. Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin scored late to help the Heat win 24-14.
The Knicks reacted just as things were about to get out of hand. In the second quarter, the team made its first seven shots and went on an 18-2 run to retake the lead.
Robinson’s 3-pointer capped a 7-0 run for the Heat. With 5:56 left in the half, the Heat led by three. That was either team’s largest advantage in the first half. To close the quarter, both teams swapped baskets. With less than a second remaining, Julius Randle put the Knicks up 50-47.
Randle’s 24 points gave the Knicks momentum at the half, and Brunson and R.J. Barrett both capitalised in the third. In the first quarter, Brunson scored 10 of his 38 points. Barrett then scored 12 of his 26 points.
With five minutes remaining in the fourth, the Knicks built a 13-point advantage. New York kept up the pressure, but a late 3-pointer by the Heat trimmed New York’s advantage to 10 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Knicks maintained their 10-point advantage early in the fourth quarter, but Miami ultimately found their range. With seven minutes remaining, the Heat made three consecutive three-pointers, cutting the Knicks’ advantage to four points.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra switched up his plan with about five minutes remaining. He had Heat players foul Knicks centre Mitchell Robinson, forcing him to the line. Robinson, who shot 48% from the line this season, made three of his four tries before being pulled.
Despite the fact that the tactic flopped, the Heat didn’t back down. Duncan Robinson’s stunning three-pointer kept the Heat in the contest. He ended with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from distance.
With 1:31 left in the game and Miami behind by six points, Knicks guard Quentin Grimes made the play of the night. Grimes, who was visibly in discomfort after getting tangled up on defence and tumbling to the ground, recovered enough to grab the ball from Butler.
In the closing minute of the game, the Heat were desperate and failed to make two straight 3-pointers. Robinson was fouled again and sent to the free throw line, where he hit one of his two attempts. Randle grabbed the offensive rebound and sank the game-winning shot.