Knicks Crush Miami in 4th but Randle Injured. NY 125 Miami 109

Julius Randle hit a big 3 at the end of the 3rd quarter to break an 86-86 tie and give the Knicks an 89-86 lead and momentum, and then NY crushed Miami in the 4th quarter with Defense and crisp offense. But with 4:27 left, Julius Randle fell hard to the floor as he was fouled on a drive by Jaime Jaquez Jr.

Randle got up in major pain asking a trainer on the bench to pop his shoulder back in. The trainer was unable to do so and both took off for the locker room, Randle in obvious writhing pain.

X-Rays afterwards showed a dislocation, not a separation, according to Ian Begley. All of Knicks universe now await the results of the MRI — which will show if there was a tear or not. A tear could require surgery and Randle could be out an extended period — even the season, according to Dr. Jesse Morse.

On a Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, a 3pm start for a nationally televised game on ABC.

The Randle injury put a major damper on another terrific win — NY having crushed last year’s finals teams — Denver and Miami — in back-to-back games. Jalen Brunson was spectacular.

“The Knicks just sealed a victory over the Heat, with another dominate 31 point and 8 assist performance by Jalen Brunson,” said Magic Johnson. “I’m praying that Knicks forward Julius Randle did not suffer a serious injury. Randle’s been playing like an all star all season long!”

“He’s a guy that plays through things and that’s what you love about him,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards about Randle. “He’s a warrior. And so, anytime someone walks back, you know it’s something.”

NY improves to 29-17, and leapfrog Cleveland again back into 4th place in the East (Cleveland had jumped ahead of them by percentage points). Miami falls to 24-22.

1. Miami Jumps Out to 9-Pt Lead

Miami has the best coach in the NBA in Eric Spoelstra, and they came to play — jumping all over the Knicks at the start to race out to a 9-pt lead.

Tyler Herro hit back-to-back 3’s, newly acquired Terry Rozier hit a J, and Jimmy Butler hit a 3 and just like that Miami was up 13-4.

2. NY Surges Back to Take 10-Pt Lead at Half

Some good news for the Knicks: Isaiah Hartenstein was back after missing a week with a sprained ankle. He dunked off an OG Anunoby pass and NY started to claw back into the game.

NY started loosening up — Jalen Brunson hit a 3, Julius Randle hit a 3, and near the end of the quarter the 2nd team came in with energy — Miles McBride hit a 3 and Precious Achiuwa a deuce and NY was within 30-27.

The 2nd quarter was more of the same — the Knicks 2nd team of McBride, Josh Hart, Achiuwa, and Quentin Grimes playing with Anunoby took it to the Heat.

Anunoby hit a corner 3, Hart grabbed a rebound and then dunked down the other end, and then a McBride dunk off a Josh Hart pass put NY up a point.

Duncan Robinson was providing Miami firepower — his improved all around game which now includes improved ability to go to the rim, and then his elite 3-pt game making him lethal.

NY’s starters came back in and they finished the 2nd quarter well. Randle hit a 3, Donte DiVincenzo hit a drive and then a 3, and then Randle hit a drive off a Brunson assist to put NY up by 5.

Another DiVincenzo 3 put NY up 59-51.

A Precious Achiuwa drive gave NY a 61-51 halftime lead.

3. Miami Closes 3rd with a Burst — Defused by Randle’s 3

Consecutive dunks by Bam Adebayo early in the 3rd pulled Miami closer, but NY countered to go back up by 9.

Another Miami flurry highlighted by a Tyler Herro 3 pulled them to within 3, but NY countered again with a DiVincenzo 3, back-to-back Randle drives, and a Brunson drive and NY was back up 10 again with 4:05 left in the quarter.

Julius Randle free throws put NY up by 13, at 82-69 with 3:30 left.

But another Miami flurry at the end of the quarter pulled them into a tie — Duncan Robinson with a 3, Jimmy Butler with free throws off a drive, Butler with a drive-and-1, Robinson with a 3, Kevin Love with a drive, and a Jimmy Butler drive off a Love football pass and it was 86-all with 13 seconds left.

“Jimmy Butler and Jalen Brunson both truly understand the use of a jump stop, shot fake, use of pivot foot along with their strength to create space but also a great understanding on how to seek and then create contact,” noted NBA analyst Ross Kreines.

Randle’s 3 Ends the Quarter

But the Knicks inbounded, worked the ball up, and Julius Randle calmly nailed a 3 with .1 second left to give NY a lift and an 89-86 lead heading into the 4th.

4. Knicks Dominate 4th Quarter

Randle’s 3 was a huge lift as the Knicks took it from there.

Quentin Grimes hit a 3 to open the 4th, Caleb Martin sliced the Knicks with a 3, but Brunson hit a drive to put NY up 95-89.

Anunoby hit a 3 and NY was up 98-89 and off to the races.

Brunson put on a classic footwork floater to put NY 100-89.

“Jalen Brunson dictates where he wants to get on the floor no matter how much u plan,” noted NBA Analyst Ross Kreines. “He’s still going to get in the lane to finish, create for others or draw contact, can back you down or don’t close out and he hits his jumper. Also, fearless, uses fundamentals and wins at all levels.”

NY continued to Bring It:

  • Precious Achiuwa stole the ball from Bam Adebayo and fed QGrimes for a deuce and NY was up 13.
  • Herro hit a 3 but QGrimes countered with a 3 and NY was up 105-92.
  • Brunson hit a floater to put NY up 109-96 with 6:45 left, then followed with a pullup 3 and NY was up 112-96.
  • QGrimes picked off a Tyler Herro pass and drove length of court where he was fouled and made a free throw for a 17-pt Knick lead.

And then at 4:27 left the whole thing went sideways when Randle drove to the bucket and was fouled by Jamie Jaquez Jr, going down hard to the floor.

Thibs put in Jericho Sims for Randle — instead of Hartenstein who didn’t play much in the 2nd half, coming off the ankle injury. Hartenstein finished with 16 minutes.

After the Randle injury, the Knicks continued to bring it — OG Anunoby picking off a Duncan Robinson pass for a dunk the other way for a 121-100 Knick lead adding an exclamation point to the romp of a win.


  • Brunson finished with 32 pts on 12-22 shooting (4-8 from 3), 8 assists, and a +24.
  • Randle had 19 pts on 6-14 shooting (3-4 from 2) with 9 rebounds and 2 assists.
  • Hartenstein had 4 pts and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes.
  • Anunoby had 19 pts, 4 assists, and 2 steals in 34 minutes.
  • DiVincenzo 11 pts on 4-10 shooting (3-6 from 3)
  • Achiuwa had 10 rebounds in 31 minutes and a +19
  • Josh Hart had 15 pts, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and a game-high +30 in 32 minutes.
  • QGrimes had 12 pts on 3-6 shooting (2-5 from 3) with a +12 in 24 minutes.

For Miami:

  • Jimmy Butler scored 28 pts on 11-20 shooting
  • Bam Adebayo had 12 pts and 13 rebounds
  • Tyler Herro had 18 pts on 7-18 shooting
  • Terry Rozier had 10 pts on 4-12 shooting
  • Duncan Robinson had 19 pts on 6-14 shooting (5-11 from 3)

The Boxscore


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