MIAMI — Immanuel Quickley scored 20 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, leading a huge comeback that carried the New York Knicks past the reeling Miami Heat 111-103 on Friday night.
RJ Barrett scored 18 points for the Knicks, who trailed by 17 points with 11 minutes left before closing on a 38-13 run and handing Miami a third consecutive loss — all of them against teams who were missing top players.
Obi Toppin added 15 points for New York.
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 30 points. Kyle Lowry and Bam Adebayo each scored 17 points for Miami, which saw its lead in the Eastern Conference standings trimmed to a half-game over idle Milwaukee.
Markieff Morris opened the fourth quarter with a basket for Miami that gave the Heat a 90-73 lead — their largest of the night.
Things changed quickly. Or Quickley, to be precise.
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY, EVERYBODY 🍿 pic.twitter.com/t9oJpmVKDr
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 26, 2022
Quickley scored eight points in 58 seconds — two 3-pointers sandwiched around two free throws — to get the lead right back down to single digits, and the Knicks cranked up the defense. They forced Miami into misses on 11 of their next 12 shots, getting stop after stop and chipping away at what was left of the lead.
Quickley hit a short jumper to tie the game, Quentin Grimes made a 3-pointer on the next possession and the Knicks — to the delight of plenty of New York faithful who always make their way to Knicks games in Miami — had come all the way back to grab the lead.
The Heat lost to Philadelphia on Monday night, even though the 76ers weren’t playing Joel Embiid or James Harden. They lost to Golden State on Wednesday night, with the Warriors without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
And this loss to the Knicks came with plenty of New York players sidelined, most notably Julius Randle.
It also dropped Lowry to 0-6 on his birthdays.
Lowry got a Rolex watch from Butler as a birthday gift — “It’s nice to have a teammate that’s on a max deal,” Lowry said in a video from the Heat locker room.
But what Lowry wanted most didn’t happen, as Miami let the game slip away.
He played for Houston on March 25, 2010, when they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers, and the other three losses on his big day came as part of the Toronto Raptors — 2014 against Cleveland, 2016 against Houston and 2018 against the Clippers.
Those four losses were preceded by one in college too — a 67-66 loss by Villanova to North Carolina in the 2005 NCAA tournament at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome, when his 3-pointer in the final seconds wasn’t enough to save the Wildcats.
Randle missed his third consecutive game with a sore right quadriceps tendon. “Julius just needs a little more time,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.