Jalen Brunson erupts for 39 points, Julius Randle and Quentin Grimes score over 20 points each and the Knicks pummel the Brooklyn Nets, extending their winning streak to seven games.
The New York Knicks (37-27) extended their winning streak to seven games by absolutely dismantling the Brooklyn Nets (34-28) with a final score of 142-118. The 142 points scored is a season-high for the Knicks as New York saw six players score well into the double digits, with Isaiah Hartenstein coming close to making it seven players, scoring just eight points off the bench. With the victory, the Knicks and Nets split their season series with two victories for each team. The victory also moved New York firmly into the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and a season-high 10 games over .500.
The Knicks got off to a hot start from downtown torching the Nets from the outside in the first quarter. The Knicks connected on nine of eleven three-pointers; including a perfect 3-of-3 for Quentin Grimes. The ‘Bockers looked every bit of an offensive juggernaut scoring 47 points and building an 18-point lead. Part of New York’s success came from their passing, as the Knicks shared the ball well, notching 10 assists and protecting the ball with just one turnover all just in the first quarter of the game. After a little scare where Jalen Brunson bumped knees with former college teammate and buddy, new Net Mikal Bridges, he was able to stay in the game and go on an early tear scoring 16 points in the opening quarter.
The second quarter was more of the same as the Knicks continued to roll. New York’s excellent long-distance shooting was on full display as they tied their franchise record for most made three-pointers in a half with 14. New York built a 24-point advantage to lead 81-57 at the halfway mark; those 81 points are the third most points scored in a first half in Knicks’ franchise history. Keeping on trend with hot first halves, it continued to be the Jalen Brunson show, finishing with 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting from the floor. The Knicks continued to roll over the Nets and this game was nearly over at the half.
The Knicks began the second half unsurprisingly with a three-pointer. Their domination of the Nets continued by the five-minute mark of the third quarter the Knicks had already eclipsed 100 points scored and every starter had recorded double-digit scoring. While The Knicks did cruise to victory in the last two quarters of the game, the now-rebuilding Nets had some fantastic performances from their young duo – Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges, who combined for 55 points. New York was in control from tip-off the entire game, any effort to fight back from the Nets was futile. The Knicks starters may have put on their best performance as a unit this season as they continue to surge up the Eastern Conference standing.
Jalen Brunson finished the game with 39 points, his sixteenth 30-point game of the season; he missed just three shots, shooting 15-of-18 from the field to go along with six assists and five rebounds. Julius Randle had a near triple-double with 21 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Quentin Grimes had one of his better outings of the season with 22 points and six made three-pointers. Mitchell Robinson extended his double streak to four consecutive games, the longest such streak of his career, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
New York is just 1.5 games out of fourth place with 18 games left to play. Next up the Knicks head down to Miami to face the Heat on Friday, March 3rd. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.