Jimmy Butler, Duncan Robinson Dominant as Heat Blow Out Obi Toppin, Knicks

Doric SamJanuary 27, 2022

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 26: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat runs on the court during the game against the New York Knicks on January 26, 2021 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat stayed atop the Eastern Conference with a 110-96 win at home over the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Duncan Robinson led the way with 25 points with seven three-pointers as Miami improved to 31-17.

Bally Sports Sun: HEAT @BallyHEAT

6 of 9 from three-point land tonight‼️<br><br>Have a night, Duncan Robinson<a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiHEAT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiamiHEAT</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HEATCulture?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HEATCulture</a> <a href="https://t.co/bYcFIane9Y">pic.twitter.com/bYcFIane9Y</a>

It was the fourth straight win at home for the Heat, who now have a 17-5 record at FTX Arena. Jimmy Butler had 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. P.J. Tucker added 20 points.

Miami guard Tyler Herro, who missed the previous three games while in the league's health and safety protocols, returned and had 21 points off the bench. The team was still without point guard Kyle Lowry (personal reasons).

The Knicks fell to 23-26 after their second straight loss. Obi Toppin had a team-high 18 points, and RJ Barrett added 17.

Notable Stats

G Duncan Robinson, MIA: 25 points (7-of-11 3-pt FG)

F Jimmy Butler, MIA: 22 points (7-of-8 FG, 8-of-9 FT)

G Tyler Herro, MIA: 21 points (off bench)

F P.J. Tucker, MIA: 20 points

F Obi Toppin, NYK: 18 points (off bench)

G RJ Barrett, NYK: 17 points

Heat Have No Trouble Against Knicks

Despite not being at full strength, Miami is proving itself to be one of the best offensive teams in the league. Against a New York team that has had trouble finding consistency this season, the Heat were in cruise control from start to finish.

Miami never trailed in the game, opening the first quarter with nine consecutive points before the Knicks got a basket. The Heat held a 30-16 lead after the first quarter thanks to outhustling the Knicks up and down the court.

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

Coming out the gates QUICK tonight 💨 <a href="https://t.co/C7mdlnLFr9">pic.twitter.com/C7mdlnLFr9</a>

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

WATCH YA HEAD <a href="https://t.co/8R9a9cd8uG">pic.twitter.com/8R9a9cd8uG</a>

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

P.J. perfect from the floor with 10 points already 👀 <a href="https://t.co/0zz7FDbGDS">pic.twitter.com/0zz7FDbGDS</a>

The second quarter saw much of the same as Miami didn't let up. Herro scored 12 of his 21 points in the period and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field. The Heat took a 59-46 lead into halftime.

Bally Sports Sun: HEAT @BallyHEAT

"Martin sends it out, Herro sends it up!"<a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiHEAT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiamiHEAT</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HEATCulture?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HEATCulture</a> <a href="https://t.co/jsH1kXu9eJ">pic.twitter.com/jsH1kXu9eJ</a>

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

cheat code 🎮 <a href="https://t.co/4BoG2VHmRt">pic.twitter.com/4BoG2VHmRt</a>

Bally Sports Sun: HEAT @BallyHEAT

Tyler Herro loves the bright lights ⭐<a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiHEAT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiamiHEAT</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HEATCulture?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HEATCulture</a> <a href="https://t.co/VzLtHoGP6P">pic.twitter.com/VzLtHoGP6P</a>

Miami pretty much put the game away in the third quarter by opening up with a 22-7 run. The Heat were just relentless all night and didn't allow New York to get back into the game. Miami went ahead by as many as 30 points as Butler, Robinson, Tucker and Herro continued to put on a show.

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

A 20-5 run is pretty good if you ask us <a href="https://t.co/LmmYj53yzY">pic.twitter.com/LmmYj53yzY</a>

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

LET IT BE KNOWN, P.J. 🗣 <a href="https://t.co/UQDVLLrXrw">pic.twitter.com/UQDVLLrXrw</a>

Bally Sports Sun: HEAT @BallyHEAT

Tyler Herro 3 at the buzzer!!!<br><br>Heat lead 92-67 after 3 🔥<br><br>Watch the 4th quarter → <a href="https://t.co/lX7rfBwwYX">https://t.co/lX7rfBwwYX</a><a href="https://twitter.com/MiamiHEAT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MiamiHEAT</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HEATCulture?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HEATCulture</a> <a href="https://t.co/FlIUm2UKcQ">pic.twitter.com/FlIUm2UKcQ</a>

What was most impressive about Wednesday's win was the efficiency. The Heat shot over 50 percent from the field in each of the first three quarters. Miami was also hot from three-point land, converting 14 of its first 27 attempts and finishing the game shooting 43.2 percent from beyond the arc.

The Heat can no longer be considered a team that is flying under the radar. Miami is playing some of the best basketball in the league at the moment and has established itself as a legitimate title contender.

Uninspired Effort by Knicks Leads to Blowout Loss

New York is not known for being a high-energy team by any means, but Wednesday's effort was just abysmal. The Knicks came out the gates sluggish and played from behind for the entire game.

It began with the team's starters, whose struggles this season have been well-documented. New York's starting five plays with minimal chemistry, and that has led to inconsistent play on both ends of the floor. The team doesn't know how to adjust when opposing defenses take away its first option.

There was a clear difference in the effort level when some of the bench players entered the game, but by that point, the Knicks already faced a large deficit.

Steve Popper @StevePopper

And it's a Knicks timeout with Miami up 13-2. Thibodeau preaches moving the ball out of doubleteams -- the Heat are doubling and the Knicks are not moving. It's not pretty early.

Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

Tired of narrative Julius just has to attack the paint. He can’t because they’re zoning up or packing the paint. And they’re doing that because they’re not scared of Julius shooting 3-pointers.

jason c. @netw3rk

part of what makes obi and grimes impressive is just that they run. starting five is four of the slowest dudes in the league plus RJ. then obi comes in and it's like ZOMG LOOK. he's just running.

Despite shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc in the first half, the Knicks trailed by as many as 20 in the first two quarters.

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang

Knicks have made nine threes, but somehow about to enter the half with fewer than 50 points. 14 paint points, 1-of-5 shooting from the foul line and nine turnovers will do that.

The second half continued with more ugly play by New York as it fell behind by as many as 30. The Heat had no issues attacking the Knicks defense and outscored them 33-21 in the third quarter.

The problems with New York lie in its starting lineup. All five players failed to set a proper example for the rest of the team, and it wasn't a first-time occurrence this season.

Steve Popper @StevePopper

The Knicks starters tonight with 8:32 to play. <a href="https://t.co/QzAVvPgBsW">pic.twitter.com/QzAVvPgBsW</a>

The Knicks will have to make some changes to their rotation if they hope to compete for a postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. If New York continues to play the way it did Wednesday, it will find itself on the outside looking in as the playoff race heats up.

What's Next?

The Heat will welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to town Friday. The Knicks will travel to face the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks that same day.