NBA

'Thank God he missed' – Quickley relieved as Miami's Butler fails to hold off Knicks fightback

By Sports Desk November 25, 2023

Guard Immanuel Quickley couldn't contain his relief after the New York Knicks fought back for a remarkable 100-98 win over the Miami Heat on Friday to keep their In-Season Tournament hopes alive.

The Knicks began the home game against their long-time rivals – who ended their 2022-23 season in the second round of the playoffs in May – knowing a loss would have eliminated them from the competition. 

They looked to be on their way out when the Heat established a 21-point lead with three minutes and 40 seconds to go in the third quarter, but the Knicks finished with a brilliant game-closing 38-15 run to snatch victory.

A three-pointer from Quickley heralded the start of New York's fightback, with the 24-year-old finishing with 20 points and four rebounds as the Knicks earned a measure of revenge over Miami.

Asked what was going through his head when New York found themselves staring at defeat, Quickley said: "It's a decision whether to mentally check out or not. 

"It's a decision to keep fighting. It's a decision to tell yourself, 'you got to keep fighting,' no matter what. I did look at the score and say, 'dang,' when I saw how much we were down, I literally said that. 

"But then I got right back to it, seeing where I was at mentally and said, 'let's go. Let's try to get a comeback going'."

The Knicks' good work was almost for nothing as Heat star Jimmy Butler had one last chance to win it, but his three-pointer rimmed out as the fourth quarter drew to a close.

"I've seen that shot go in, not just from him," Quickley said of Butler's last-gasp effort. "When you play basketball for so long, you see so many game-winners. They all look the same.

"I just said, 'please, please don't go in'' We worked so hard to get back… Thank God he missed it."

Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra saw the end of the third quarter, when Quickley scored six points to cut the deficit, as the turning point, saying: "At the end of the third quarter we're up 20-plus. 

"Then we had some turnovers, a bad shot, we didn't get back on defense and then all of a sudden it turned into a Quickley three and another Quickley three, and then all sudden it gets to 13. 

"That was the biggest shift right there. We had an opportunity to take that thing to 25. There's a karma to it. We were so careless finishing that quarter."

Related items

  • Report: Malik Monk returns to Kings on four-year contract Report: Malik Monk returns to Kings on four-year contract

    The Sacramento Kings will retain a key piece into the foreseeable future as they look to build upon two straight trips to the NBA's play-in tournament.

    Deft scoring guard Malik Monk agreed to remain with the Kings on a four-year, $78million contract, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Thursday night.

    The last year of the deal reportedly carries a player option.

    Monk set career highs last season by averaging 15.4 points and 5.1 assists while finishing second in Sixth Man of the Year award voting.

    Monk, a seven-year veteran out of Kentucky, was due to be an unrestricted free agent on June 30.

    Monk had been linked to several teams searching for an infusion of perimeter scoring in free agency, including the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic, but those clubs will now need to look elsewhere.

    Monk has averaged 11.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 458 career NBA games.

    While the Kings have yet to win a play-off series since 2004, Sacramento have strung together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2004-06. In 2023, the club ended a 16-year post-season drought and forced the defending champion Golden State Warriors to a Game 7 in their first-round play-off series loss.

  • Report: Malik Monk returns to Kings on 4-year contract Report: Malik Monk returns to Kings on 4-year contract

    The Sacramento Kings will retain a key piece into the foreseeable future as they look to build upon two straight trips to the NBA’s play-in tournament.

    Deft scoring guard Malik Monk agreed to remain with the Kings on a four-year, $78million contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Thursday night.

    The last year of the deal reportedly carries a player option.

    Monk set career highs last season by averaging 15.4 points and 5.1 assists while finishing second in Sixth Man of the Year award voting.

    Monk, a seven-year veteran out of Kentucky, was due to be an unrestricted free agent on June 30.

    Monk had been linked to several teams searching for an infusion of perimeter scoring in free agency, including the Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic, but those clubs will now need to look elsewhere.

    Monk has averaged 11.6 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 458 career NBA games.

    While the Kings have yet to win a play-off series since 2004, Sacramento have strung together back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2004-06. In 2023, the club ended a 16-year post-season drought and forced the defending champion Golden State Warriors to a Game 7 in their first-round play-off series loss.

  • Thunder reportedly acquiring Caruso from Bulls for Giddey Thunder reportedly acquiring Caruso from Bulls for Giddey

    Oklahoma City and Chicago have swapped guards, with the Thunder acquiring Alex Caruso from the Bulls in exchange for Josh Giddey on Thursday.

    ESPN was the first to report the trade, which cannot become official until July 6.

    The 30-year-old Caruso is considered one of the NBA's top defenders, having been named to a pair of All-Defensive teams.

    He is also viewed as an important role player for a potential championship contender after helping the Los Angeles Lakers win the 2019-20 title.

    The Thunder finished with the Western Conference's best record this past season, but were knocked out of the play-offs in the semi-final round by the Dallas Mavericks.

     

    A seven-year NBA veteran, Caruso averaged career highs of 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds this past season, along with 3.5 assists and 1.69 steals while starting 57 of 71 games.

    Giddey, the sixth overall pick of the 2021 draft, started 80 games for the Thunder this past season, but saw his numbers drop from 2022-23.

    After averaging 16.6 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists in his second season, the 21-year-old Giddey averaged 12.3 points, 6.4 boards and 4.8 assists in 2023-24. He is a career 46.4 per cent shooter from 3-point range.

    He was investigated for having an improper relationship with an underage girl, but the NBA and police were "unable to corroborate any criminal activity."

    The NBA dropped its investigation.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.