Jalen Brunson Mocks Josh Hart: "He's Just Running Around

Knicks secure key victory in tight playoff race

by Nouman Rasool
Jalen Brunson Mocks Josh Hart: "He's Just Running Around
© Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In a high-stakes NBA Thursday night showdown, the New York Knicks emerged victorious over the Boston Celtics with a decisive 118-109 win. This triumph not only bolstered their playoff position but also prevented a season sweep by the Celtics.

Jalen Brunson was the standout performer for the Knicks, amassing a game-high 39 points. His exceptional effort from the field saw him shooting 15-of-23, including a remarkable 6-of-11 from beyond the arc, complemented by 3-of-5 from the free-throw line.

The victory came just a day after the Knicks clinched a playoff berth, pushing their season record to an impressive 48-32. They now trail the Milwaukee Bucks by just one game for the coveted second seed in the Eastern Conference, with both teams having two games left in the regular season.

The Knicks face a must-win scenario in these final games while hoping for the Bucks to drop their upcoming contests against Oklahoma City and Orlando. Brunson's performance was pivotal in establishing a significant lead for the Knicks, especially during a critical stretch in the second quarter.

New York had a slim 47-45 advantage before unleashing a 17-point barrage, which was part of a broader 22-3 run to close the half, propelling them to a 69-48 lead.

Brunson Teases Hart's Play

In the post-game commentary, Brunson responded humorously to questions about Josh Hart's defensive play, stating, "He just runs around and decides to do something.

He’s not playing basketball." Despite the jest, Hart was instrumental in the Knicks' performance, securing a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds, adding five assists and a steal to his tally. This game marked Brunson’s fifth consecutive outing scoring at least 35 points, with his last two games seeing him exceed 40 points against the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks, both significant wins.

The Knicks have shown formidable form recently, going 4-1 in their last five games. Even with a playoff spot already secured and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, the Celtics fielded their top eight players, signaling their intention to compete fiercely.

However, with the Knicks extending their lead to as much as 31 points by the third quarter, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla opted to rest his starters, turning to a reserve-heavy lineup in the final quarter. As the regular season winds down, the Knicks are peaking at the right moment, demonstrating resilience and strategic brilliance on the court.

This surge not only positions them as formidable contenders for the upcoming 2024 NBA Playoffs but also captivates their fanbase with the promise of thrilling basketball action.