Quantcast

Brunson posts career-high 38, Knicks edge Spurs 117-114

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
Knicks and Julius Randle are NBA title long shots
New York Knicks’ Julius Randle (30) blocks a shot by San Antonio Spurs’ Josh Richardson (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Asked before the game about his team’s victory over the Knicks last week, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was quick to note that Jalen Brunson didn’t play.

What a difference he made in the rematch.

Brunson scored a career-high 38 points, Julius Randle had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and New York beat San Antonio 117-114 on Wednesday night.

Brunson added seven rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who won their third straight since a 122-115 loss in San Antonio last Thursday.

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK

States: OH, MD, NY, KS, LA, AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV

CLAIM NOW
21+ and present in Participating states. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER$3,000
NO-SWEAT FIRST BET!
BET NOW

“He’s got it all,” Popovich said. “He’s got the skill, but he’s got the toughness. He’s got the basketball IQ to go with it. Just a hell of a competitor.”

Brunson missed three games last week with a sore right hip, but returned with 24 points in a victory over Phoenix on Monday. He made the big plays late in this one to surpass his previous regular-season best of 34 points.

“Whatever it takes to win,” Brunson said. “I could have 38 or I could have three points. If we win that’s all I really care about.”

Brunson made the go-ahead basket with 3:02 to play, then knocked down a pair of jumpers to push the lead to 116-112 with 1:17 to go.

The Spurs cut it to two and forced the ball out of Brunson’s hands to regain possession with a chance to tie, but they were called for a 5-second violation trying to get the ball in with 5.7 seconds remaining. Evan Fournier made one free throw to make it 117-114, but the Spurs couldn’t get off a last 3-point attempt in time.

“The bottom line is getting the win,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We’ve just got to scratch wins out.”

Keldon Johnson scored 26 points for the Spurs, and Josh Richardson had 20. Zach Collins added 16 points and Doug McDermott finished with 15, but the Spurs gave up 25 second-chance points.

The Knicks led by 13 in the first quarter before settling for a 39-29 advantage. The Spurs charged ahead with a 13-0 run in the second to go ahead 44-41, but the Knicks recovered and were up 62-55 after Brunson had two baskets in the final 35 seconds of the first half.

Both teams shot better than 60% in the third quarter, with Randle’s jumper as time expired making it 94-89.

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK

States: OH, MD, NY, KS, LA, AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV

CLAIM NOW
21+ and present in Participating states. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER$3,000
NO-SWEAT FIRST BET!
BET NOW

For more on the Knicks, visit AMNY.com

More from around NYC