Brunson big down stretch as Knicks beat Hawks 116-114

Jalen Brunson Knicks Hawks
New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) dribbles against Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) and Atlanta Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter (12) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

ATLANTA (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 24 points, including a pull-up jumper from the top of the lane with 18.8 seconds remaining, and the New York Knicks held on for a 116-114 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 29 points, while the Hawks didn’t get much out of their guard duo of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Young had 15 points and Murray was held to 13.

“We showed a lot of toughness — more mental than physical — and found a way to win,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Young had a chance to tie it for the Hawks, but he missed the second of two free throws to leave the Knicks with a 112-111 lead in a fourth quarter that went back and forth.

Brunson came the other way and calmly knocked down the shot that gave New York some breathing room.

“He couldn’t find his rhythm early,” Thibodeau said. “But he just kept working the game, working the game, working the game.”

Murray scored on a drive to again make it a one-point game, only to have Immanuel Quickley sink a pair of free throws with 8.9 seconds remaining.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, who led the Hawks with 28 points, missed badly on a rushed 3-pointer off the inbounds pass. But Atlanta got one more chance when New York was called for a five-second violation trying to inbound the ball.

Murray raced down looking to get off a shot beyond the arc, but Brunson managed to foul him before he went up. Murray made the first throw and intentionally missed the second, but Atlanta’s Onyeka Okongwu was called for a lane violation when he stepped over the line too soon.

“We’re still figuring it out,” said Atlanta’s Jalen Johnson, who had 18 points. “I’m hoping it happens sooner than later.”

Atlanta appeared to have the upper hand when Saddiq Bey slammed one home off a missed 3-pointer by Bogdanovic, pushing the Hawks to a 101-94 lead.

After a timeout, New York bounced back with eight straight points as Immanuel Quickley and Brunson both knocked down threes. Quickley finished with 20 points.

The Knicks led by as many as 13 in the first half. Randle led the way, filling the void with RJ Barrett missing his second straight game suffering from a migraine.

Randle also had 10 rebounds and eight assists, while Mitchell Robinson grabbed 15 rebounds and created all sorts of havoc for the Knicks in the lane.

With Atlanta getting little out of its starting guards, Bogdanovic and Bey came off the bench to lead the Hawks back.

Bogdanovic knocked down a couple of 3-pointers as part of a 10-point quarter, while Bey chipped in with nine points. Johnson added eight, closing the deficit to 57-56 at halftime.

With Barrett already sidelined, the Knicks lost another player when Quentin Grimes headed to the locker room early in the fourth quarter with an apparent wrist left injury. Thibodeau called it a bruise and doesn’t think it’s a serious issue.

Grimes was hurt while defending a drive to the basket by Bogdanovic.

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