The lead was shaky at times. The shooting went cold. Excitement rippled through the building. There were moments when the Miami Heat looked like they were going to get themselves into trouble.

And they found a way - again. The eighth-seeded Heat's improbable journey continues, with Miami on the brink of another trip to the Eastern Conference finals. Jimmy Butler had 27 points and 10 assists, Bam Adebayo finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds and the Heat topped the New York Knicks 109-101 on Monday night.

"It was great that we were able to hold home court," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But we know we have a job to do in New York."

They head to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Wednesday night with a 3-1 lead, one win away from this East semifinal matchup and a return to the conference finals for the third time in four years.

"We have a job," Butler said, "and I think we're very capable."

Max Strauss scored 16 points, Kyle Lowry 15 and Caleb Martin 10. Miami became just the fourth No. 8 seed — now in its 40th season — to win at least seven games in this NBA playoff format. The 1999 Knicks won 12 en route to the NBA Finals, while Memphis won seven in 2011 and Philadelphia seven in 2012.

Jalen Brunson finished with 32 points and 11 assists for fifth-seeded New York, RJ Barrett had 24 points and Julius Randle scored 20 for the Knicks before fouling out with about three minutes left.

"To win a series you have to win four," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “So, all we are thinking about is winning the next match. Go quarter by quarter. Win the first quarter, win the second quarter, win the third, win the fourth. And then the next day we'll think about the next day."

Miami missed 12 of its first 15 shots of the fourth quarter, but the Knicks couldn't take full advantage — trimming just three points from the Heat lead in that span. There were nine going into the fourth, and a pair of free throws by Brunson got New York within 99-93 with 4:40 left.

But a slam from Martin breathed some life into an unsteady building and the roar got a little louder about a minute later. With the Knicks down by seven, Randle drove into the lane but Straus beat him to the spot, which became the New York star's sixth foul with 3:08 left. Heat controlled the rest of the way.