NEW YORK — even without the star forward Jimmy Butler against for game 2 new York KnicksThe Miami Heat Nice to know about his chance on Tuesday night.
In-spite of this missing output from butler (sprained right ankle), tyler herro (right hand fracture) and Victor Oladipo (torn left patellar tendon), the Heat were still in the mix for most of the game. But in the end, the lead slipped as the Knicks 111-105 win Even leading their conference semifinal series to a game each.
“We found a way to try and win without our main man,” Heat guard Kyle Lowry Said about not having a butler. “We were close and we had an opportunity. We didn’t win the game, so it didn’t really matter. But we did a good job of going out there and playing hard.”
Miami became accustomed to playing with new pieces throughout the season. Tuesday night was the Heat’s seventh playoff game, and coach Erik Spoelstra was forced to use his fourth different starting lineup. Herro was injured in Game 1 against milwaukee bucks Oladipo was injured in the first round, and in Game 3.
According to Spoelstra, Butler was undergoing round-the-clock treatment but had not been cleared to play. Without Butler, the Heat relied heavily on their role players to step up.
“We really wanted that and I thought we should have it,” Heat guard max strauss Said. “It was in our hands to let it go. It will be a tough one, but it was inspiring to play without our best player. It was good to see other guys come forward and put up a good fight like this.” But we definitely wanted to go home with a win.”
Strauss was one of several undrafted players to make the massive move to Miami. caleb martin had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Gabe Vincent Had 21 points and five assists. Strauss had 17 points of his own while remaining in the game with a lower back injury that forced him to the locker room in the third quarter before returning in the fourth.
throw in Duncan Robinsonnine digits of and heywood highsmithThe five K’s and Miami’s undrafted players combined to score 74 of the team’s 105 points. According to ESPN Stats & Information Research, the 74 points scored by undrafted players were the most for any team in the modern draft era (since 1966).
In fact, it was the fifth time a team had undrafted players score 50 points or more in the playoffs—and all five times it was done by the Heat in the past two postseasons. It was also the first time in the modern draft era that a pair of undrafted teammates scored 20 in a game.
The game featured 16 lead changes and 13 ties. heating station bomb adebayo Said the team needed to regroup and figure out what went wrong before barring themselves.
“I know what went wrong,” Adebayo said. “The turning point of the game was I was running Isaiah [Hartenstein] Then [Jalen] brunson Technically got AND-1 3.”
After the Heat took a six-point lead with 7:06 to play, the Knicks called a timeout. On the ensuing play, New York gave the ball to Brunson in the corner as he shot a wide-open 3. Adebayo tried to fend off and in the process, he ran into Hartenstein. He was whistled for the foul, the officials counted the buckets, and then Hartenstein shot a free throw to cut the lead to two.
On the following possession Brunson came down and hit a 9-foot jumper to tie it up and change the momentum. The Heat got back to three points when Vincent hit three free throws, but the Knicks responded with a possession that featured four offensive rebounds and a corner 3-pointer. Miami never had the lead after that.
“I just have to play better,” Adebayo said. “I feel like this game was on me and I lost it for us. So I just have to get better. I played too bad. I’ll take that on myself.”
The Heat will have three nights off with Game 3 set for Saturday night in Miami. Spoelstra said his players can’t wait to get back on the floor.
“It can’t be too soon to get out there and compete again,” Spoelstra said. “Everyone felt like we had a real opportunity.”
But will Butler be able to get going on Saturday night with some extra rest for the Heat?
“His body will tell you. I know. He knows. The team knows,” Spoelstra said. “There’s no way to predict it, but glad we have a few extra days.”