MIAMI — Immanuel Quickley went down … and took the Knicks’ already-struggling bench production with him.
The rising young guard sprained his left ankle during the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ 105-86 loss to the Heat on Saturday afternoon in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. His status for Game 4 on Monday night is unclear. The Knicks trail in the series, 2-1.
“Ankle sprain,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Sprained ankle. We’ll know more [Sunday].”
The sprain occurred when Quickley and Miami’s Bam Adebayo were both going after a loose ball. The quicker guard got there first, only to have the Newark-born Heat center fall onto his foot.
The Knicks’ sixth man went down on the Kaseya Center court, holding his ankle and writhing in pain.
After he remained down for several moments, Quickley immediately headed to the Knicks’ locker room.
“It hurt a lot. Part of the game,” Quickly said with a shrug afterward, acknowledging the ankle was still “a little sore.”
For his part, Quickley had no clue whether he would be sent for any imagining, and was unsure of his status for Game 4.
“No idea. We’ll see,” said Quickley, who was replaced by Miles McBride.
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Quickley finished with 12 points in 20:09, albeit on 4-for-12 shooting and just 2-for-8 from 3-point range. He also was without a single assist. It’s a damning indictment of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year runner-up’s production that Saturday marked by far his best performance of this second-round series.
After Quickley had scored 19 points in the first-round Game 5 clincher over Cleveland, he had just 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting combined through Games 1 and 2 against the Heat at the Garden. Now it’s very much in doubt whether the Knicks will have him at all for Game 4.
One way or the other, the Knicks need more from their bench. The Heat reserves had scored 14 points Saturday before the Knicks’ backups got on the board.
“Defensively we got to be better,” Quickley said. “I know they jumped on us early, got off to a 9-0 run. Duncan Robinson got a 3 right off the bat. They were getting offensive rebounds. Just got to be better from the jump.”
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