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No. 8 seed Heat a win away from conference finals after Jimmy Butler powers another win over Knicks

May 9th, 2023

Jimmy Butler and the Heat are one win away from the Eastern Conference finals. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The New York Knicks are headed home on the brink.

Powered by another strong shooting night, the Miami Heat scored a 109-101 Game 4 win over the Knicks on Monday to take a 3-1 series lead. The No. 8 seed that ousted the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the first round now stands one win away from the Eastern Conference finals.

As usual, Jimmy Butler led the way alongside a co-starring role from Bam Adebayo.

Adebayo got off to a hot start with a 9-point first quarter as Miami took a 32-31 lead. He had 16 at the half as the Heat extended their edge to 56-48. An 11-point third quarter from Butler helped the Heat take a 90-81 lead into the final quarter.

There the Heat went cold with 1 of 9 start from the field. But it didn’t matter. They gave themselves repeated second chances with 3 offensive rebonds during the stretch while holding New York without a field goal for the first 4:08 of the stanza. By then, the Heat led 95-84, and the Knicks never recovered. Julius Randle fouled out on a charge with 3:08 remaining, all but closing the door on a New York rally.

As they’ve done throughout the postseason, the Heat repeatedly worked for, found and hit open shots. A team that ranked 27th in the league in 3-point shooting during the regular season with a 34.4% success rate entered Monday’s game trailing just the Boston Celtics for the second best rate at the playoffs at 39.2%.

They trusted their deep ball again on Monday in a high-volume effort that saw them hit 13 of 39 from beyond the arc. It wasn’t their best effort, but they managed four more made 3-pointers than the Knicks. They repeatedly declined to settle for contested shots while working to find the open shooter.

When they missed, they attacked the glass, securing 13 offensive rebounds on their 45 misses.

Jalen Brunson countered with a strong 32-point, 11-assist performance despite a concerted Heat effort to deny him the ball. But it wasn’t enough as New York will now need to win three straight elimination games to get out of the series.

Butler led the Heat with 27 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. He set the tone with a pull-up 3 for the game’s opening bucket. Adebayo added 23 points and 13 rebounds.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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