Randle double-doubles as Knicks hold off Heat 106-104

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Julius Randle of the Knicks dunks against the Heat
New York Knicks’ Julius Randle dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, in New York. The Knicks won 106-104. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Both teams came into the day thinking they would have two All-Stars and both had to settle for one after Julius Randle was picked for the second time. He responded with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists for the Knicks, who used the 106-104 win to pull within a game of Miami for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, the final guaranteed playoff spot.


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The Knicks had hoped Jalen Brunson would also get the All-Star nod in his first season in the Eastern Conference, but he was not selected. Same goes for Jimmy Butler, who had been hoping to join his teammate Bam Adebayo, who is now a two-time All-Star.

Butler had just 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting in the loss. 

Meanwhile, Knicks forward RJ Barrett rebounded from a late-game benching on Tuesday with 30 points, and Isaiah Hartenstein made big plays on both ends of the floor in the final minute, as the New York Knicks held on for the win. 

Hartenstein dunked with 33 seconds left for a three-point lead. After Tyler Herro’s 3-point attempt rimmed out, the Heat got a steal and got another chance to tie, but Hartenstein knocked away a pass and the Knicks got it to Randle all alone for a dunk and a 106-101 lead.

Barrett played about five minutes to start the fourth quarter Tuesday, then never got back in the rest of regulation or overtime in the Knicks’ 129-123 loss to the Lakers. He was on the floor for 41 minutes this time, including the whole fourth quarter, when he delivered some timely drives to the basket.

“The thing that I love about RJ is I always believe he’s going to bounce back and I saw it immediately the next day after the Laker game,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I said we’ll be fine because I know, like, it’s important to RJ, so I knew he’d come out aggressive.”

However, it wasn’t a flawless game for Barrett, who turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions in the final two minutes and also was 0-for-5 from beyond the arc, which continues to be a missing piece of his game. 

New York pulled out the victory even after making it overly close in the final minutes, as they tend to do. Two just seconds left, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra correctly challenged a call that turned a Heat foul into a Knicks turnover. But Tyler Herro’s potential winning 3-point attempt bounced off the rim.

“I thought we had a good look,” Herro said. “It was still a tough shot, but it was a good shot. Missed it, and get back to the drawing board.”

Bam Adebayo finished with 32 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, while Herro scored 25 points and Strus had 17.

The Knicks snapped a two-game losing streak despite playing without point guard Jalen Brunson, who was scratched with an illness unrelated to COVID-19. Immanuel Quickley started for Brunson and had eight points and six rebounds. But the Knicks had a much better Barrett than Tuesday when he was 5-for-13 for 13 points.

“I feel like I hadn’t really had aggression from start to finish in a while, so today I just tried to do that,” Barrett said.

RJ Barrett of the Knicks scores against the Heat
New York Knicks’ RJ Barrett (9) drives past Miami Heat’s Caleb Martin during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, in New York. The Knicks won 106-104. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York also got 17 points from Quentin Grimes, and Miles McBride was strong off the bench, playing great defense and going a perfect 3-for-3 from the field. 

The Knicks started the third quarter with an 11-0 run, extending a three-point lead to 62-48 as the Heat missed their first seven shots. Then Adebayo made a jumper to start a 21-4 response, which included Kyle Lowry making a go-ahead 3-pointer after missing his first seven shots, as Miami rallied for a 69-66 edge.

New York swung momentum right back its way with another 11-0 burst and led 77-72 after three.

“We just couldn’t put them away. Any time we got a little bit of a lead, we couldn’t put them away. They came right back,” Heat veteran Udonis Haslem said. “That’s a tribute to their resilience, but also, we’ve got to understand that we’ve got to play off misses. We can’t keep taking the ball out of the basket and come down and try to match people shot for shot.”

Heat guard Victor Oladipo missed the game with a sprained right ankle. Spoelstra said the injury was unrelated to the serious leg injuries that cost him significant time the last few seasons and said the guard was day-to-day. 

The Knicks are off on Friday before hosting the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

For more Knicks coverage, visit amNY Sports


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