By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Jimmy Butler had 27 points and 10 assists, Bam Adebayo finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds and the Heat topped the New York Knicks 109-101 to get a 3-1 lead as the series returns to Madison Square Garden.
“It was great that we were able to hold home court,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But we know we have a task in New York.”
Max Strus scored 16 points, Kyle Lowry added 15 and Caleb Martin had 10 for the Heat. Miami became only the fourth No. 8 seed in this NBA playoff format, meaning the last 40 seasons, to win at least seven games. The 1999 Knicks won 12 on their way to the NBA Finals, while Memphis won seven in 2011 and Philadelphia won seven in 2012.
Jalen Brunson finished with 32 points and 11 assists for fifth-seeded New York, while RJ Barrett had 24 points and Julius Randle scored 20 for the Knicks before fouling out with about three minutes left.
German big man Isaiah Hartenstein added two points, three rebounds and two blocks.
“You’ve got to win four to win a series,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “So, all we’re thinking about is win the next game. Go quarter by quarter. Win the first quarter, win the second quarter, win the third, win the fourth. And then the next day we’ll think about the next day.”