The New York Knicks’ season came to an end on Friday night in Miami. Despite racing out of the gates and leading by as many as 14 points in the first quarter, New York was unable to beat the Heat in their building, as Jimmy Butler and co. punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 96-92 win.
The Knicks kept getting close in the fourth quarter but never found themselves able to wrest the lead away from Miami. With less than a minute remaining and New York trailing by six, they needed a miracle that somehow came, as Gabe Vincent inadvertently clocked Jalen Brunson while the Heat were trying to inbound the ball, which was given as a Flagrant 1.
gabe vincent straight CLOCKED jalen brunson pic.twitter.com/rAmcBkhOoo
— Dan Favale (@danfavale) May 13, 2023
After Brunson made both free throws and Josh Hart scored on the ensuing possession, New York needed a stop to get the ball back with a chance to tie. They got it, gave the ball to Brunson, and let him take it up the floor. He got himself into some trouble by dribbling into the corner, where he was trapped by Jimmy Butler and Max Strus.
With a pass to Hart a little too risky, Brunson tried dumping it off to a cutting Julius Randle. But the ball was unable to get to him, as Miami forced a turnover that let them seal a win.
It is a brutal way for this game to end for Brunson, as he was nothing short of magnificent on the night — the team’s prized offseason acquisition had 41 points on 14-for-22 shooting with four rebounds and three assists in 45 minutes of work. He’s almost certainly the main reason the future’s so bright in New York, but his final moment during his debut season in the Big Apple is one he’s going to want back.