Knicks top Rockets 109-94 in Brunson’s 30 pt return

In a thrilling showdown at Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks secured a solid victory against the Houston Rockets, 109-94.

Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson were on fire! Randle dropped an impressive 31 points, showing his versatility with 11-19 shooting, including four threes after recent struggles. Brunson, back in action after missing a couple of games, was the maestro on the court, contributing 30 points and dishing out 7 assists.

OG Anunoby played a significant role, not only did he drop 15 points, but he also grabbed 5 rebounds, recorded 5 steals, and boasted a game-high +/- of +24. Anunoby’s impact on both ends of the floor is becoming a game-changer for the Knicks.

The game was tight until the Knicks decided to take matters into their own hands in the second half. Leading 54-53 early in the third period, they went on a 13-4 run, establishing their first double-digit lead. The momentum continued, and with less than a minute left, the Knicks held their largest lead of 109-89.

Josh Hart made a strong statement off the bench with 10 points and a whopping 14 rebounds. Six of those boards came in the second quarter. Quentin Grimes also chipped in with 11 points, contributing to the well-rounded effort from the team.

Despite the Rockets’ efforts, led by Fred VanVleet’s 24 points and Alperen Sengun’s double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, they couldn’t overcome the Knicks’ defense. Jalen Green added 15 points for the Rockets.

Since the OG Anunoby trade, the Knicks are on a roll with a 6-2 record. What’s even more impressive is how they’re locking down on defense. In four of those games, they held their opponents to under 100 points. In one instance, they allowed exactly 100 points, and in two other games, they held opponents to 106 and 105.

This is a significant improvement compared to the previous 32 games, where they achieved this feat only seven times. Notably, the last time they accomplished this was on November 28 when they defeated the Hornets 115-91 in the In-Season tournament matchup.

Since then, in the following 15 games, they allowed an average of 123.9 points. Compare that with the current average of 100.1 points.

The schedule is looking good for the Knicks. They’ll be playing 10 of the next 12 games at the Garden, and one of the road games is a short trip to Brooklyn. An excellent opportunity for them to build on this.

Up-next: Knicks (24-17) are hosting the 7-32 Hornets tonight from 7:30pm.

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