Burned by Hot Heat Shooting & the Refs. Miami 127 NY 120

The Knicks led 100-98, with 7:30 left in the game. But hot Heat shooting and some critical, momentum-swinging calls that went against the Knicks carried Miami to the win 127-120. On a Wednesday night in Miami.

Tyler Herro got hot, and went 4 for 5 from 3 down the stretch, and 5-7 overall in the 4th. Herro entered the final quarter with only 8 points but finished with 22.

And anytime Jimmy Butler got the ball it was a foul. Butler scored 35 points on 11-19 shooting and had 14 free throws.

Despite all of that the Knicks would not go away — and pulled back within 5 with 43 seconds left. Kyle Lowry took longer than 5 seconds to inbound the ball — but the refs didn’t call it. Miami got it in to Jimmy Butler — who was double teamed by Josh Hart and RJ Barrett. Butler clearly moved his pivot foot for a walk — but the refs called a foul on the Knicks who didn’t seem to foul him. And that was the ballgame.

“It was a hard fought game,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “But our defense obviously wasn’t good enough. We fought back several times; we had the lead there for a while but we couldn’t hold on to it. Free throws hurt us, fouls hurt us, turnovers hurt us.”

NY falls to 42-32. Miami improves to 40-34. NY is in 5th place — 2 games ahead of Brooklyn and Miami with 8 games to go. NY and Miami play again next week in NY.

1. Herro and Heat Hot on the Shot

The Knicks had been down by 10 points in the 3rd but sliced the lead to 3, when Tyler Herro‘s shooting kept them at bay at start of the 4th:

  • The Knicks had climbed to within 92-89 at start of the 4th, when Herro hit a 3 to give Miami a 95-89 lead.
  • NY pulled to within 95-92 when Herro hit a 2-pt jumper to make it 97-92 Miami.

The Knicks surged to take the lead 100-98 with 7:30 left in the game, but a Max Strus 3 gave Miami back the lead. Bam Adebayo free throws and a Kyle Lowry 2 put Miami back up 5.

And from there Tyler Herro kept hitting 3’s to break the Knicks back:

  • NY pulled to within 105-102 when Herro hit a 3 with 5:10 left to give Miami a 108-102 lead,
  • NY pulled to within 111-102 when Herro hit a 3 with 3:54 left to make it 114-102 Miami.
  • NY pulled to within 116-109 when a Herro 3 put another dagger in — Miami 119-109.

2. Knicks Got Tagged with Momentum-Swinging Calls

And still the Knicks kept coming back — pulling to within 5 with 43 seconds left. But the refs kept doing them no favor.

Kyle Lowry taking over 5 seconds to inbound the ball with Heat up 5 and 43 seconds left looked like this:

Jimmy Butler moving his pivot foot but NY getting called on a foul with 35 seconds left looked like this:

On one momentum swinging play late in the 3rd quarter, Immanuel Quickley hit a 3 from the corner — and at same time Kevin Love barreled into Isaiah Hartenstein who was standing with position on the left side — the Knicks felt it should be a foul on Love and count the basket. Instead the refs ruled a foul on Hartenstein and the Knicks lost the 3. Hartenstein did move slightly just before Love barreled into him but it didn’t seem like a call that should have been made as Love was nowhere near Quickley.

Early in the 4th, Hartenstein set a clean pick, but Kyle Lowry tripped on Hartenstein’s foot and they called the foul on Hartenstein.

Knicks Twitter was Hooting about the calls. Knicks Muze made a video of the bad calls that went against the Knicks.

3. Knicks Defense Not Great

Despite the hot Miami shooting and bad ref calls — the Knicks’ defense was also to blame for the loss. As Walt Frazier assessed after one play, “This is the Knicks problem tonite, folks. You see how these guys are constantly in the paint. They can’t keep people out of the paint. So when they go into the paint you get that domino effect. Guys start chasing you get a step behind so they’ve been able to draw a foul and get to the line.”

4. Barrett Terrific Game

Some good news: RJ Barrett led the Knicks with 26 points on efficient 8-13 shooting, 3-6 from 3 and 7-7 in free throws. He was aggressive in the 4th, and kept getting to the line — and hitting every free throw. Barrett also had 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

5. Randle Out Played by Butler

Miami keyed their defense on Randle — and the Knicks strategy seemed to get other players involved. Randle had 9 assists and 15 points on 7-15 shooting (1-5 from 3). But Jimmy Butler owned the night with his 38 points on that 11-19 shooting.

6. Grimes Great

One of the beneficiaries of the Knicks spreading their offense was Quentin Grimes — who scored 22 points on 7-12 shooting (6-10 from 3). Grimes only took 1 shot the previous game.

7. Mitch vs Adebayo

Mitchell Robinson had a strong game — 10 points on 4-4 shooting with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks in 25 minutes. Bam Adebayo had 15 points on 5-11 shooting in 40 minutes.

Knicks found him for slams several times on the night.

8. Other Knicks

Jalen Brunson had an efficient 25 points on 10-16 shooting, but Knicks twitter noticed he was one of the offenders on Defense.

Immanuel Quickley had a tough shooting night — 5 pts on 1-8 shooting (1-5 from 3).

Obi Toppin had only 3 points in 11 minutes (1-4 shooting, 1-3 from 3) — but played well — 4 rebounds and an assist (the one above to Mitch for the slam).

The Boxscore


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