Knicks get payback in opposition to Spurs, Jaylen Brunson scores career-high 38 factors in 117-114 win – The Mercury Information

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It seems that Gregg Popovich had good cause to fret about Jalen Brunson.

The legendary coach of Spurs Aired his issues in regards to the talent of the Knicks level guard earlier than Wednesday’s sport, then watched helplessly as Brunson torched Popovich’s Spurs for 38 factors.

Brunson’s particular efficiency included a pair of clutch jumpers within the remaining two minutes because the Knicks pulled away for his or her third straight win, 117-114.

“He is an awesome participant,” Popovich mentioned. “He was at all times an enemy in Dallas, and now he is in New York. He is received all of it, he is received the talent, he is received the toughness, he is received the basketball IQ to go along with it. He is only one hell of a competitor.”

The younger and rebuilding Spurs (12-26) fumbled their final two possessions, each with possibilities to tie the sport, with a five-second foul after a layup after which a shot clock violation on the remaining buzzer. So the Knicks (21-18) escaped with a revenge win at MSG, lower than every week after shedding to the Spurs in San Antonio.

Branson was injured for the primary match. and Popovich wished his gamers to know his influence.

“I need them to acknowledge that Brunson goes to be on the ground tonight. The final time he was not there,” Popovich mentioned. “He is a monster. He has such a toughness about him. Excessive basketball IQ, exhausting to take care of. He actually checks your self-discipline, makes you bounce off your toes. For a bit man, he has an awesome axis that he makes use of rather a lot within the paint, issues like that. However he is additionally selfless. So specializing in him is sort of essential.”

The message was not efficient. Brunson scored 13 factors within the first quarter because the Knicks jumped out to a 13-point lead. The Spurs got here again within the second quarter, largely to relaxation Brunson on the bench, however nonetheless trailed the Knicks 62-55 at halftime.

Brunson’s remaining tally of 38 was 4 factors off his earlier common season finest. He went 17-for-27 with six assists.

“No matter it takes to win,” Branson mentioned. “I might have had 38 or three factors. If we win, that is all I actually care about. That is my aim, that is my mindset and that is the mindset of this crew, that now we have to maintain it going. Feels good with a win. Simply what’s wanted.”

Popovich was additionally nervous about Julius Randle, who struggled together with his 9-of-26 capturing from the sphere however nonetheless collected 13 rebounds and 4 blocks, together with a formidable first-quarter denial of Josh Richardson.

“Simply taking part in exhausting,” Randle mentioned. “I used to be trash [Wednesday night] so I needed to do one thing.”

The Knicks had a totally wholesome roster, however with caveats. Obie Taupin and Derrick Rose, who’re again from harm, weren’t anticipated to play as they’re nonetheless recovering. Each took DNPs.

The rebuilding Spurs have been led by Keldon Johnson’s 26 factors. Nevertheless, Johnson could not break down Quentin Grimes’ protection on the ultimate possession and could not get off a possible game-tying shot earlier than the buzzer. Earlier than that, down by two factors and 5.7 seconds left, Spurs rookie Jeremy Sochan could not get his go-ahead photographs and was fouled with 5 seconds remaining.

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