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Wednesday in the 2023 NBA Playoffs saw a pair of home teams win in Game 5 to extend their season at least another game. The New York Knicks found their shot against the Miami Heat, and the Golden State Warriors largely controlled play against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brunson Goes for 38 After Playing Every Minute
The Knicks knew it was win or get eliminated, and they overcame a brutal first quarter where they were outscored 24-14 to come back for a 112-103 win. Jalen Brunson played all 48 minutes for the Knicks and finished with 38 points. He was 4-of-10 from 3-point territory, his best game since Game 2.
The Knicks also got 26 points from RJ Barrett and 24 points from Julius Randle as that trio continues to carry the day for New York. Rebounding was also a big deal as the Knicks won that battle 50-34 with Mitchell Robinson stepping up with 11 rebounds after a trio of down games.
The game could have been further out of reach if the Knicks did not miss 11 free throws or turn the ball over 18 times. But Jimmy Butler had a conservative approach for Miami, only going 5-of-12 from the field and finishing with 19 points. Kevin Love had a rough one with 2-for-10 shooting, including 0-for-7 from 3.
Miami was able to make it 103-101 with 2:37 left, but a big offensive rebound and put-back dunk for the Knicks hurt the Heat, who never got that close again. Quentin Grimes injured his leg on a play late, but he still recovered to steal the ball from Butler with 1:36 left, a crucial play.
Warriors Defend Homecourt Once Again in 121-106 Win
The Warriors and Lakers were playing a very competitive and even game when it was tied at 54 with 4:37 left in the first half. But as we have seen many times before, the Warriors took control of things at home to close the half and the third quarter, making the fourth quarter less than exciting.
Golden State closed the first half on a 16-5 run, highlighted by Steph Curry hitting a buzzer-beater. The Warriors then opened up an 18-point lead in the third quarter despite the fact that Klay Thompson again had a quiet game with 10 points. But Draymond Green was unusually aggressive with 20 points on 11 shots. Jordan Poole also showed more this time with 11 points and 4 assists after his brutal performance in Game 4. Andrew Wiggins was very good with 25 points to complement the game Curry had (27 points and 8 assists).
Anthony Davis had another disappearing act in the second half, posting 18 points in the first half and 5 points the rest of the way. He left the game with an apparent injury after taking a shot to the head, so everyone will be monitoring his situation for Game 6.
The Lakers still shot 48.3% from the field and were even in turnovers (14) and free throw attempts (15) with the Warriors. But they need that free throw disparity and to not be minus-10 in rebounds. LeBron James had 25 points for the Lakers, who had no fourth-quarter magic this time as Lonnie Walker IV put in 4 points in 28 minutes.
Game 6 should be a big one on Friday night.
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