Jalen Brunson scores career-high 48 as the Knicks beat the Cavaliers 130-116
The Knicks faced off against the Cavaliers in a potential preview of the first round, and despite missing All-Star Julius Randle, they were able to come away with a 130-116 win.
Jalen Brunson had a career night, scoring 48 points and dishing out 9 assists while shooting 18-32 from the field, including 7-12 from beyond the arc.
“You guys have seen it all year. I think there’s nothing that he does that surprises you, and it’s a testament to how tough-minded he is.”
– Tom Thibodeau
The Knicks found themselves leading 107-104 early in the fourth quarter before embarking on a 13-0 run that the Cavaliers were unable to recover from. In the end, the Knicks outscored the Cavs 25-14 in the final quarter after leading 105-102 at the end of the third.
Obi Toppin got his first start of the season and scored 12 points, while RJ Barrett, Quentin Grimes, and Immanuel Quickley each scored 14 points. The Knicks had an impressive seven players in double figures, including Mitchell Robinson who recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The game got off to a high-scoring start, with both teams combining for 89 points in the first quarter, a season high. Josh Hart‘s 8-foot jumpshot mid-way through the second quarter gave the Knicks their first lead of the game, and they never looked back.
The Cavs, who boast the league’s best defense, were led by Donovan Mitchell’s 42 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Knicks’ balanced scoring attack. Darius Garland scored 20 points and dished-ouit 9 assists while Caris LeVert added 15 buckets.
The win leaves the Knicks needing just one more victory to clinch a playoff spot, while the Heat need to lose one game.
Up-next: The Knicks (45-33) will host the Washington Wizards (34-43) on Sunday from 6:00 pm