The New York Knicks faced a virtual must-win Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals versus the Miami Heat on Tuesday after losing to Miami in Game 1.
The Madison Square Garden crowd stepped up its act, as numerous celebrities showed up to support the Knicks in this crucial contest.
Among them was Carmelo Anthony, the former Knicks star who was on the team the last time they reached the second round of the playoffs in 2013.
New York scraped past the Heat 111-105, and they did so thanks to 30 points and six 3-pointers from Jalen Brunson.
In fact, he became the first member of the Knicks to score 30 points in a playoff game at the Garden since Anthony did so 10 years ago.
Jalen Brunson is the first Knicks player with a 30-point playoff game at MSG since Melo in 2013 🤩 pic.twitter.com/rd4vZaCNJV
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 3, 2023
Game 2 wasn’t pretty, and the Knicks trailed for a good portion of the contest, but they took control late to claim victory and tie the series at one win apiece.
Julius Randle, who was playing on a bad ankle, was also big with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists, while RJ Barrett got hot, going 5-of-9 from 3-point range and scoring 24 points.
But perhaps the unsung hero for New York was guard Josh Hart, who had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists and made his presence felt in crunch time as his team pulled away.
The Knicks got a break as Jimmy Butler was unable to play due to a sprained right ankle, and now they have a competitive series on their hands.
But to have any real shot of winning the series, they must win one of the next two games in Miami, which won’t be easy at all, especially if Butler is able to return.