Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle led the way tonight, stifling Paolo Banchero and the Magic in a come-from-behind win for the Knicks. 

Thanks to a strong fourth-quarter performance from Jalen Brunson, the Knicks (30-26) held off the Orlando Magic (22-33) tonight at the Amway Center. With the 102-98 win, New York picked up their second victory over the Magic counterpart this season and third straight overall, dating back to last year. Orlando had won two in a row coming into tonight.

Julius Randle also helped lead the charge—he notched 22 points and 14 rebounds, his fifth consecutive 20-point game and his 22nd consecutive game with at least nine rebounds, per ESPN Stats. Brunson, as he has been all year, was awesome in the final minutes of the game, finishing with 25 points. Immanuel Quickley, who continues to play outstanding ball, poured in 18 of his own, including four three-pointers.

 

Markelle Fultz and Franz Wagner led the Magic with 21 points and 18 points, respectively. The Knicks held stud rookie Paolo Banchero to 16 points—a quiet night by his standards.

The Knicks trailed by double digits in the first quarter and by eight at halftime. It looked like there was no chance they’d be able to reach 100 points, a number they’ve met or eclipsed in their last 32 games, per ESPN Stats. Thanks to stout defense, especially in the third quarter, and clutch free throws down the stretch, they took care of business. Learning how to win, even while being outshot in every category by an inferior opponent, is an important step forward.

The Closer

A consistent floor general has eluded the Knicks for years, often causing them to look discombobulated and frantic at the end of games, resulting in many grueling losses. Jalen Brunson has all but erased that weakness. Tonight, he showed up yet again down the stretch, closing the door on a floundering Magic. JB’s steadying ability to distribute and get buckets was a huge reason why the Knicks escaped with a victory. His sweet dish to Jericho Sims, clutch free throws, and crunch-time scoring proved a tremendous asset.

 

DNP Fournier

Evan Fournier shined in Sunday’s win against the Sixers with R.J. Barrett sidelined due to an illness. It was a bit surprising that the guard didn’t get any time against his former team, given his five three-point showing in the Knicks’ last game.

The Knicks’ next game is Friday against the Sixers, this time down in Philly. Tip-off is 7pm.

»Read: What Do The Knicks Have To OFfer Kevin Durant? 

»Read: A Carmelo Anthony Reunion Makes Sense

»Read: The Knicks’ Trade Deadline Primer