On a night the Knicks essentially clinched a spot in the playoffs, they were struck by a thunderbolt that could cripple them once there. Their 101-92 win over the Miami Heat was a true team effort, inspiring but also necessary in light of Julius Randle leaving the game in the first half with an ankle injury. He departed the same night Jalen Brunson returned. The Knicks could use some time to rest players before the postseason. This win could go a long way toward getting them there. The nature of the win could see them make more than a little noise once there.
The game was a low-scoring, tight affair throughout, tied entering the fourth quarter. And that is where, facing the biggest quarter of their season, the Knicks had Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Josh Hart, RJ Barrett and Isaiah Hartenstein go out and win the quarter and the game by nine, a churning, rising wave of winning basketball when it was most needed. Randle was long gone and Brunson and Mitchell Robinson were on the bench. This would not be a night for the usual suspects. This was the sum playing all of its parts to perfection.
IQ once again took the game by the reins and ran a steady ship against a Miami team that brings choppy waters to the defensive end. Grimes played one of his best and biggest games as a Knick. Hart was here, there and everywhere, as is his wont. Barrett hit a big 3 late in the game when some Knicks were having trouble just getting shots off. Hartenstein’s jack-of-all-trades fingerprints were all over the fourth. The Knicks slowly pulled away and never let up once they did. A great win. Now, as they await an update on Randle, comes an even tougher opponent than the Heat: the waiting game.