Jalen Brunson scored 30 points to fuel the host New York Knicks to a 111-105 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday, leveling their Eastern Conference semifinal series at one win apiece.
Brunson made 10 of 19 shots from the floor — including 6 of 10 from 3-point range — for the fifth-seeded Knicks. Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Saturday in Miami.
New York’s Julius Randle collected 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in his return after sitting out the series opener due to a sprained left ankle. RJ Barrett sank five 3-pointers to highlight his 24-point performance. Josh Hart added 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
Miami leading scorer Jimmy Butler sat out Game 2 after sustaining a sprained right ankle during the fourth quarter of the series opener on Sunday afternoon.
Caleb Martin recorded 22 points and eight rebounds and Gabe Vincent added 21 points for the eighth-seeded Heat. Max Strus finished with 17 points and Bam Adebayo collected 15 points, eight rebound and six assists.
Miami built a 93-87 lead before New York scored 14 of the next 17 points to claim a five-point advantage with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter. Brunson sank two 3-pointers and a pair of jumpers during that sequence before Kyle Lowry and Adebayo each made a basket to trim the Knicks’ lead to 101-100 with 1:58 to play.
Hart halted that momentum by draining a 3-pointer, and New York added four free throws to extend its lead to 108-100 with 31.5 seconds left. Vincent made a driving layup and Duncan Robinson drained a 3-pointer to bring Miami within three points before Hart sank three of four free throws to seal the win.
Vincent sank a pair of 3-pointers and added a driving layup to give Miami a 90-85 lead with 7:45 remaining in the fourth quarter. Isaiah Hartenstein countered with a short jumper, but Martin answered by draining an uncontested 3-pointer.
Martin sank a 3-pointer to extend Miami’s lead to 46-38 with 3:43 remaining in the second quarter. Randle answered by scoring the next eight points for his team to highlight a 13-5 run before Kevin Love sank a 3-pointer to give the Heat a 54-51 advantage entering halftime.