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Jimmy Butler powers Miami Heat to 3-1 series lead over New York Knicks

The latest Jimmy Butler vs. Tom Thibodeau battle was once again won by the six-time NBA All-Star. As they say, coaches coach, and players play, and the Miami Heat had the better team effort on Monday night for Game 4 against the New York Knicks in the 109-101 win.

As the TNT broadcast noted, Thibodeau moved to 0-7 when his teams are trailing 2-1 in an NBA Playoff series. While that’s an unfortunate stat, it’s even more unfortunate for coach Thibs that his Knicks are now down 3-1.

The Knicks saw great production from a big three led by Jalen Brunson’s 32 points and 11 assists, plus R.J. Barrett’s 29 and Julius Randle’s 20 points, but with 75% of the team’s points coming from just three players, it was the lack of a supporting cast that hurt New York tonight. In fact, the Knicks got just ten bench points as Quentin Grimes took Josh Hart’s spot in the starting lineup.

Grimes ended up playing 42 minutes but would score just nine points on 3-of-8 shots. Hart wasn’t much better in limited action, seeing 22 minutes of floor time, scoring four points while shooting 2-of-6 from the floor.

Game 5 will head back to New York at Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks won one-of-two earlier matchups. But if Jimmy Buckets continues to play as he has all postseason, New York’s chances of securing three wins in a row seem incredibly unlikely.

Butler once again led the Heat in scoring, chipping in 27 points, ten assists, and six rebounds in 42 minutes of play. Bam Adebayo also helped dominate on the glass, hauling in 13 of Miami’s 44 rebounds while adding 23 points to the tally too. In comparison to New York’s bench, which, again, scored just ten points, coach Erik Spoelstra got much more out of his reserves, with 32 points coming from non-starters.

Game 5 will take place on Wednesday at 7:30 PM on TNT. Could Butler and the Heat be headed back to their second Eastern Conference Finals in a row? We may have our answer soon enough.

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