Brunson leads Knicks past Thunder 129-119 to end west trip with winning record
Jalen Brunson tied his season high 34 points as the New York Knicks defeated the Oklahoma Thunder 129-119 and ended a five game road trip with 3 wins.
Julius Randle and RJ Barrett added 25 points each while Randle finished in double-double with 11 boards to his account.
The Knicks, who lost at home to OKC less than two weeks ago, defended much better after allowing 145 points in their first matchup. They had a better ball movement and a better shot selection.
Barrett, who struggled with his shooting during the previous five games (a total of 20-76 from the field) had probably his best game of the season. He shot 10-16, made three 3 pointers and grabbed 8 rebounds.
“Besides putting the ball into basket? His mindset is demeanor, (…) you never know when he’s having an off-night or he’s having a great night. I think that’s really telling about him. He keeps that demeanor and he stays with it and he stays confident, always.”
– Jalen Brunson on RJ Barrett
The Knicks had a powerful fourth quarter (31-24) with the help of Immanuel Quickley who scored 12 of his total 18 points coming off the bench. The Knicks went on a 9-0 run to build a 58-44 lead with 3:47 left until halftime and extended at 69-53 two minutes later with an alley oop by Jericho Sims assisted by Barrett.
Randle scored 16 points in the first half, Barrett dropped 13 in the second half and Brunson had 12 and 11 in the last two quarters.
The Thunder were led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with 30 points. Luguentz Dort added 24. Unlike 9 days ago when they made 17 three pointers, OKC went just 8-24 from behind the arc last night.
The Knicks outscored the Thunder 72-60 in the paint and had 10 steals to just 5 for their opponents.
The Knicks (9-9) return at Madison Square Garden to take on the Trail Blazers (10-7) on Friday night from 7:30 pm.