The box score did not look good for the New York Knicks and Miami Heat in game three. However, defense is the Heat’s staple.
Jimmy Butler returned from his sprained right ankle to lead all scores with 28 points as the Heat took a 2-1 series lead in game three after a 105-86 win over the Knicks.
“We can win games when we defend, not just score,” Butler said.
The Heat shot 39 percent from the field; the Knicks were worse at 34 percent from the field. Both teams combined to shoot 15 for 72 on three-pointers.
The 86 points for the Knicks were their second-fewest of the season.
There was little shoving and pushing with 14.7 remaining in the third quarter under the Knicks basket reminding us of this old playoff rivalry it led to off-setting technical fouls and no ejections.
Game four is Monday in downtown Miami.