Jalen Brunson outdueled Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell and the New York Knicks solidified their playoff positioning by winning against the Cavs, 130-116.
Brunson came out hot right off the gate and scored 32 points in the first half. He had 21 points in the first quarter alone. Donovan Mitchell was phenomenal too as he torched the Knicks with 23 points to match Brunson’s scoring output in the first quarter of the game.
The Knicks were playing without their all-star forward Julius Randle but Brunson’s scoring prowess was enough to give them the win.
This was Brunson’s 4th 40-point game this season. He hasn’t scored above 40 points during his entire tenure with the Mavericks, with the exception of a 41-point piece against the Jazz in last year’s playoffs.
The former National Player of the Year and second-round pick has been playing great since joining the Knicks in free agency last summer as he is currently averaging 24 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 6.2 apg this season.
It’s safe to say that playing alongside Mavs superstar Luka Doncic benefitted Brunson’s game. From DNPs in his rookie year and playing reduced minutes in his second season with Dallas, Brunson improved his play during his third year in the league and is trending towards an all-star berth in the near future.
The spitfire point guard watched Doncic dismantle defenses night in and night out and quietly absorbed all the things he saw from Luka, implementing different moves to elevate his game.
The Knicks are going to clinch a playoff berth soon and it’s always great for the league and the fans if the New York Knicks are playing in the postseason.