NBA

Knicks praise 'special' Brunson after 41-point haul beats Wizards

By Sports Desk January 19, 2024

Jalen Brunson was praised for his "special" ability by New York Knicks teammate Donte DiVincenzo after he had 41 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to help his team get past the Washington Wizards.

New York won 113-107 after Brunson shot 14 of 27 from the field and scored 18 of the Knicks’ 21 points during a long stretch of the fourth quarter, as they extended a one-point lead to 105-97 with 86 seconds to play.

Julius Randle added 21 points, while DiVincenzo and OG Anunoby each had 19 to help the Knicks improve to 8-2 since acquiring Anunoby from the Toronto Raptors.

Jordan Poole scored 24 points for Washington, which has lost eight of nine.

The Wizards looked frustrated after consistently appearing to have blocked Brunson's lane to the basket, only for the guard to spin away from trouble to get a shot up or draw a foul.

Brunson has scored 29 or more points in six of the last seven games he has played.

"That is what great players do to teams. They get you frustrated and they get you upset," DiVincenzo said, per ESPN.

"You do everything you can defensively and they still make a tough shot. But I think Jalen, what makes him special is he makes the right play every time."

Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said: "It is frustrating and to his credit he is a hard one to guard – very shifty."

Brunson ended up scoring 20 points in his impressive fourth quarter.

"You are at the end of the game, you are trying to win, so it is a little different," he said. "But I mean, the approach stays the same. I think I had the same attacking mindset."

The Knicks (25-17) have a 13-5 record at home this season and are back in action when they host the Raptors (16-26) on Saturday. 

Toronto is slumping after losing six of its last eight games, including a 116-110 loss at home to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

Raptors forward Scottie Barnes had 31 points, just one short of his career high, but the Bulls prevailed after Nikola Vucevic had 24 points and 14 rebounds, while DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points against his former team.

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