Determined to snap their five-game losing streak, the Miami Heat started the game locked in on both sides of the ball. With the offense attacking in the lane and making the right pass for an open look, and the defense making life difficult for the New York Knicks.
But as the game progressed, Miami's flaws began to show and were exposed by the Knicks, who pulled away and defeated the Heat in convincing fashion 125-109 Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
Why the Heat lost: Horrific fourth quarter
After being down a majority of the third quarter, the Miami Heat found themselves trailing by only three points in large part due to Jimmy Butler bullying his way to the basket for and-ones and layups. But in the fourth quarter, the Knicks began to fire on all cylinders, and the Heat were unable to catch up with Butler on the bench after playing the entire third quarter.
New York scored 36 points, which ended up being the most points scored for the Knicks in a quarter. A major reason why the Knicks scored at will against the Heat was due to Jalen Brunson, who put up 12 points in the fourth and finished with 32 points.
On offense, with the lead growing for the Knicks, the Heat began to settle for low-quality jump shots and the scoring woes began to rear their ugly head.
Despite having bad stretches, the Heat were in striking distance to win the game and get back to their winning ways. Instead, Miami's poor execution on offense and defense resulted in being outscored by 13 points in the fourth.
What we learned: Heat's lack of size is an issue
In this matchup, the Miami Heat decided to double on almost every post-up to counter their size mismatch at nearly every position.
This strategy ended up burning the Heat, who found themselves lost on defense trying to recover after the pass was made out of the post. With one extra pass, the Knicks either found wide-open shooters or cutters going to the basket for easy dunks or layups, an example being O.G. Anunoby having a clear path to the basket for an easy dunk early in the third quarter.
The Knicks made 17 three-point shots on 33 attempts, and shot over 51 percent from the field.
Many of the top teams in the East have a clear height advantage over the Heat and will continue to punish Miami as we saw with Boston on Thursday night and New York on Saturday. It will be tough for Erik Spoelstra to come up with the best scheme to hide the team's defensive issues, but with the offense not showing the capability to score over 120 consistently, the Heat have to show resistance on defense.
Highlight of the Night: Jaime Jaquez meets O.G. Anunoby at the apex
Although there's not a lot to shine on in a blowout loss, one silver lining was seeing Jaime Jaquez Jr. return to the lineup and add another highlight to his collection.
In the second quarter, O.G. Anunoby was driving to the basket off of a feed from Quentin Grimes and attempted to finish a rim-rocking dunk. But Jaquez had other plans in mind and pulled off his best Dikembe Mutombo impression and stuffing Anunoby at the rim.
With Miami's offense having their cold spells, more plays on defense such as steals and blocks can help the Heat get easier scoring opportunities, as in this instance the Heat ended up scoring after the Jaquez block on a Bam Adebayo putback slam.