Jalen Brunson scored 38 points and joined Quentin Grimes in playing all 48 minutes Wednesday night for the host New York Knicks, who staved off elimination by beating the Miami Heat 112-103 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Knicks, who led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before the Heat whittled the deficit to two points late in the fourth, trail the series three games to two heading into Game 6, scheduled for Friday night in Miami.
Brunson pulled down nine rebounds and had seven assists. He and Grimes — who had eight points, five assists and four rebounds — became the first pair of Knicks to play all 48 minutes in a playoff game since Walt Frazier and Jerry Lucas did so against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals on April 23, 1972.
RJ Barrett had 26 points and Julius Randle added 24 points for the Knicks. The duo teamed up with Brunson to score all the points in New York’s decisive 23-5, third-quarter run.
Jimmy Butler put up 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, who squandered a 10-point, second-quarter lead. Bam Adebayo had 18 points and eight rebounds while Duncan Robinson scored 17 points off the bench. Max Strus added 14 points and Caleb Martin collected 11 points in a reserve role.
The Heat ended the first quarter on a 16-4 run to take their biggest lead at 24-14 before the Knicks opened the second period by hitting their first seven shots during an 18-2 run that lasted just 2:54.
Miami scored the next nine points, after which neither team led by more than three points the remainder of the quarter. Randle’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer gave the Knicks a 50-47 lead entering halftime.
The Heat’s Kevin Love hit a jumper to begin the third quarter before Barrett, Brunson and Randle mounted the 23-5 run that extended their lead to 73-54 with 5:55 left.
The Heat began inching back by ending the quarter on a 20-11 run. Miami got within four points four times in the fourth before Butler sank one of two free throws to cut the deficit to 103-101 with 2:37 left. However, Isaiah Hartenstein dunked the putback of a miss by Barrett for the Knicks, who led by at least four the rest of the way.