Knicks pull away late without Randle to beat Heat 101-92
NEW YORK (AP) — Immanuel Quickly scored 24 points, Quentin Grimes had 23 and the New York Knicks moved closer to a postseason berth with a 101-92 victory Wednesday night that sent the Miami Heat closer to the play-in tournament.
Josh Hart added 13 for the Knicks, who overcame the loss of Julius Randle to a sprained left ankle to win their second straight and remained firmly in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. They are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets and opened a four-game gap over the seventh-place Heat.
The top six teams are guaranteed postseason spots. The Heat's third straight loss dropped them 1 1/2 games behind the Nets.
Jalen Brunson returned from a two-game absence with a sprained left hand with 12 points, and RJ Barrett also finished with 12 after shaking off a 0-for-8 start. New York visits Cleveland on Friday in what could be the preview of the 4-5 matchup in the East.
Gabe Vincent scored 21 points and Tyler Herro had 16 for the Heat, who faded down the stretch after losing in Toronto on Tuesday.
The Knicks led 86-85 midway through the final quarter before Hart had a pair of baskets and Grimes added four points in a 9-0 burst that pushed it to 95-85 on Quickley's free throw with 4:17 remaining. The Heat never made another run.
Randle sprained his left ankle late in the second quarter. The All-Star forward who has started all 77 games was hurt when Bam Adebayo landed on him after Randle had grabbed an offensive rebound and faked the Heat's center in the air. Randle remained in to shoot the free throws, but was clearly in pain and the Knicks quickly fouled to check him out of the game.
The Knicks raced to an 8-0 start, but the Heat scored the next 14 and led 23-19 after a first quarter in which New York went 0 for 6 on free throws. The teams exchanged the lead a few times in the second before Brunson made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give New York a 48-46 edge.
Heat: Kyle Lowry sat out the second half of the back-to-back after playing Tuesday against his former team. ... Jimmy Butler returned after not playing Tuesday and had 12 points.
Knicks: The Knicks urged fans to sing “Happy Birthday” to Hall of Famer and MSG Network announcer Walt Frazier during the first quarter. ... Randle visited the Earl Monroe New Renaissance Charter School in the Bronx on Tuesday for the presentation of an $880,000 check, the result of a campaign that began when he pledged to donate $500 for every 3-pointer he made over two seasons and was joined by other individuals and organizations.
Actors Everett Osborne, Jeremy Piven and Cary Elwes, who star in the upcoming “SWEETWATER,” were at the game. Osborne plays Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, a former Harlem Globetrotter who signed with the Knicks, becoming the first Black player to sign a contract with an NBA team. Piven plays Knicks coach Joe Lapchick and Elwes is Knicks executive Ned Irish. The film will be released April 14.
Heat: Host Dallas on Saturday.
Knicks: At Cleveland on Friday.
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Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press