NBA Playoffs: Jalen Brunson drops 38 points against Heat in Game 5 to keep Knicks alive

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With the New York Knicks off the season, Jalen Brunson delivered. Brunson played the full game and shot down 38 points in Game 5 against the Miami Heat 112–103.

With the win, Brunson and the Knicks forced a Game 6, which would take place on Friday as the Heat lead 3–2.

While New York walked away with a winner, it was the Heat who looked inspired early in the contest. After keeping things close early, the Heat went on a 10–2 run midway through the quarter. A controversial open foul by Josh Hart set the Heat up for a late run to close out the quarter.

With less than a minute to go, Hart was called for a flagrant foul on a 3-point attempt by Jimmy Butler. The play was reviewed and the officials confirmed the call.

Butler, who led the Heat with 19 points, 2 of his 3 free-throw attempts to make it a 6-point game. Duncan Robinson and Caleb Martin added baskets down the stretch to make it a –14 game in favor of the Heat.

Just as things were threatening to get out of hand, the Knicks responded. The team hit their first seven shots of the second quarter and went on an 18–2 run to retake the lead.

Robinson finally hit a 3-pointer to send the Heat on a 7–0 run. This gave the Heat a 3-point lead with 5:56 to play in the half. It was the largest lead for any team in the first half. The two teams traded baskets at the end of the quarter. With only one second to play, Julius Randle scored to give the Knicks a 50–47 lead at halftime.

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Randle, who finished with 24 points, gave the Knicks the momentum to end the half, and both Brunson and RJ Barrett capitalized in the third quarter. Brunson 10 Drop Of his 38 points in the quarter. Barrett followed with 12 of his 26 points.

Helped the Knicks break a 13-point lead with five minutes to play in the quarter. New York continued to apply the pressure, although a late 3-pointer by the Heat cut New York's lead to 10 entering the fourth.

The Knicks held a 10-point lead early in the quarter, but Miami eventually got hot from beyond the arc. The Heat hit three consecutive 3-pointers and cut the Knicks' lead to just 4 points with seven minutes to play.

Jalen Brunson dropped 38 points in a Game 5 win over the Heat. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

With about five minutes to play, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra changed his strategy. He had the Heat players foul Knicks center Mitchell Robinson to send him to the free-throw line. Robinson, who shot 48% this season, hit 3 of his 4 attempts before being taken out of the game.

Although the strategy backfired, the Heat did not flinch. Duncan Robinson kept the Heat in the game with a clutch 3-pointer. He finished with 17 points and went 5-of-10 from beyond the arc.

With Miami trailing by 6 points with 1:31 to play, Knicks guard Quentin Grimes capped off the game of the night. After tripping on defense and falling to the ground, Grimes – who was clearly in pain – recovered enough to steal the ball from Butler.

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Grimes and Brunson played 48 minutes.

With the Heat in desperation mode, the team failed to hit two consecutive 3-pointers in the final minute of the game. Robinson was fouled and was once again sent to the line, where he made 1 of his 2 free throws. Randle grabbed the offensive rebound on the miss, and kept it to put the game out of reach.