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Alec Bucks leads New York Knicks’ rally past Spurs

May 13, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks’ Elfrid Payton (6) defends San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan (L) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Frank Franklin II/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Alec Burks scored a season-high 30 points, including the tiebreaking 3-point play with 3:16 remaining, as the New York Knicks overcame a 17-point deficit and eked out a 102-98 victory over the visiting San Antonio Spurs Thursday.

Playing only for the third time in 14 games due to COVID-19 and a knee injury, Burks scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. He shot 11 of 20 from the field, hit five 3-pointers and also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Julius Randle added 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and nine assists after being presented with his Eastern Conference Player of the Month Award before the game. RJ Barrett chipped in 24 for the Knicks (39-31), who won for the 14th time in 18 games since April 7.

The Knicks remained in sixth place in the Eastern Conference They hold the same record with the Miami Heat but not the head-to-head tiebreaker and also remained a half-game behind the Atlanta Hawks.

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DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points as the Spurs (33-37) lost for the eighth time in 10 games. The Spurs, however, clinched a play-in berth when the Sacramento Kings lost to the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday night.

Dejounte Murray added 14 for the Spurs, who were outscored 39-20 in the final 15:45.

San Antonio outscored the Knicks 30-15 in the first 8:15 of the third to get a 75-58 lead on three free throws by Rudy Gay with 3:45 remaining. New York stormed back with a 21-2 run and took the lead for good on a 3-point play by Burks that made it 93-90.

The Knicks seemingly wrapped it up when Randle’s 20-footer made it 98-94 with 56.4 seconds left but Burks missed a 3-pointer on New York’s next possession with 27.2 seconds remaining and Keldon Johnson converted a 3-point play with 10 seconds left to make it 98-97.

Burks hit two free throws for a 100-97 lead with 7.7 seconds left and, after DeRozan missed the second free throw on purpose but did not hit the rim, Barrett secured it at the line with 1.8 ticks left.

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–Field Level Media