Quickley & Young Guards Launch Fab 4th-Quarter Comeback. NY 111 Miami 103

Immanuel Quickley and the young Knick guards launched a fab 4th quarter comeback from 17 points down to beat the Eastern-Conference-Leading Miami Heat in Miami, 111-103 on a Friday night.

Friday Night Knicks.

It wasn’t an ‘incredible’ comeback because the Knicks have been playing so well since the All Star break, especially the last few days and even more so, coming off a blowout of the Charlotte Hornets in Charlotte led by Quickley and the young guards — that the comeback was more ‘reinforcement’ of how good this team is playing.

Too late for the playoffs unfortunately. The Knicks improved to 32-42, 5 games back of a spot with 8 games to go. They will be the best team not to make the playoffs — had they won a fraction of all the late leads they blew, they’d be at .500. Miami falls to 47-27, still the best record in the entire Eastern Conference — ahead of Milwaukee, Philly, etc.

“I thought our starters played really well in the 1st half, and our bench didn’t play as well as we would have liked, and in the 2nd half it was the opposite — the starters were ok, they were actually decent, and then the bench came in and they were terrific,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards.

1. All the Young Guards

At the heart of the 4th-quarter comeback was Tom Thibodeau DEFENSE. At the front of it was Quickley — dancing and prancing and penetrating and passing and shooting and scoring. Around him were young guards Quentin Grimes, playing D and knocking down 3’s, and Miles McBride — “Deuce” — playing D, ripping down rebounds, and scoring. Jericho Sims and Taj Gibson manned the front court — pulling down key offensive and defensive rebounds, and blocking shots.

With 3 minutes left, old man RJ Barrett — 21 years old — came in for Grimes to defend Jimmy Butler. Barrett did his job, and also ripped down a key rebound and hit all of his free throws (2-2) down the stretch. Obi Toppin — who had been sensational again in the 3rd quarter — came in for Taj for the final 3 minutes.

2. The Comeback — Play by Play

With the Knicks down 17 with 11:37 left in the game:

  • Quickley hit a 3 to make it 90-76, pulling NY to within 14,
  • Quickley hit 2 free throws to make it 90-78,
  • Quickley hit another 3 to make it 90-81,
  • Kyle Lowry made to free throws to make it 92-81,
  • Quentin Grimes hit a 3 to make it 92-84,
  • Miles McBride hit a 3 to make it 92-87,

  • McBride played great D on Lowry, stole the ball, and went full court for a layup to make it 92-89,

  • After a Jericho Sims offensive rebound, Grimes hit a 3 to tie the game 92-92 with 6:19 left,

  • Jimmy Butler hit a shot inside to give Miami back the lead, 94-92,
  • Quickley hit a floater to tie it again, 94-94,
  • Grimes hit a 3 to give NY the lead, 97-94 with 4:57 left,

  • ¬†After 2 minutes of back-and-forth no score, Bam Adebayo made 1 free throw to make it 97-95 NY on top,
  • Quickley hit an underhanded floater in the lane to make it 99-95 NY,

  • Barrett ripped down a big rebound in traffic,
  • Quickley hit 2 free throws after a failed Miami challenge, to make it 101-95 NY with 2 minutes left,
  • Quickley stole the ball and drove the court for a layup to make it 103-95 with 1:39 left.

In the final minute, with NY up 8, Miami launched 3’s (Butler hit one to pull Miami to within 4; Lowry missed) and fouled NY on the other end. RJ Barrett (2-2) and Quickley (4-4) made all their free throws to ice it. Barrett made a terrific pass while triple-teamed on the baseline to Taj Gibson for an important slam (looked like he walked but it wasn’t called) and both he and McBride ripped down clutch rebounds. Duncan Robinson hit a 3 with 2 seconds left for the final score.

Quickley was the main hero — and finished with 23 points on 6-12 shooting (3-8 from 3, 8-8 in free throws) and 3 assists. He entered the 4th quarter with 3 points — scored 20 in the 4th.

Deuce McBride played the entire 4th, finishing with 17 minutes, and 9 points on 2-6 shooting with 5 assists and a +16.

Quentin Grimes had 9 points on 3-6 shooting (all from 3) in 16 minutes.

3. All the Young Centers and the Old Man

Mitchell Robinson, coming off the bench due to the back soreness that caused him to miss the prior game — was gangbusters when he was in: 11 points on 4-5 shooting and 7 (seven) Offensive rebounds. Jericho Sims played 28 minutes as the starter and was 3-3 for 6 points and 7 rebounds.

Taj Gibson played 22 minutes of tough basketball: 5 points (2-4 shooting), 3 rebounds, and a block.

4. Toppin Terrific Again

Obi Toppin started at power forward again with Julius Randle out with the minor leg injury, and was terrific again — 15 points on 6-10 shooting (2-4 from 3) and 8 rebounds.


After the game, Thibodeau was asked by Marc Berman of the NY Post if social media has been a problem for the Knicks this year. Thibodeau answered with comments about social media. “How many people are watching the game to really know what is going on in a game. I see a lot of opinions but not enough people doing the work to actually study it.”

Walt Frazier dressed in a Miami Vice suit to hex the Heat. And it worked.

The Boxscore



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