Jalen Brunson Gives 2-Word Explanation for Knicks’ Game 1 Win

Jalen Brunson

Getty Jalen Brunson during Game One of the first round series against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 20.

Despite an off night from star point guard Jalen Brunson, the New York Knicks pulled out a 111-104 Game One victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

When asked postgame what it took to get the job done in the fourth quarter, Brunson gave Rebecca Harlow two words: “Deuce McBride.”

He’s referring to Miles “Deuce” McBride, New York’s backup point guard, who scored 21 points on the first night of the postseason.

The 23-year-old guard played only 28 of 48 possible minutes, but registered the team’s highest plus-minus grade at +37.

Each of McBride’s 5 threes felt more timely than the last, with his final make giving the Knicks a five-point lead with seven-plus minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

After scoring just 3 points in eight playoff appearances last year, the third-year guard is the sole reason New York is up in the first-round series against the 76ers. But he’s not surprised.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” McBride told reporters after the game. “I learned from last year. And tried to take that and be impactful, do whatever I can to help the team win.”

But it wasn’t all McBride heroics in this one.

Brunson Credits Supporting Cast

Harlow followed up by asking Brunson about Josh Hart‘s 4-made three-pointers in the Game One win, a season-high and his most in a game since February 2023.

“I got the best teammates ever man,” Brunson told Harlow in the postgame interview for MSG.”They do this stuff night in and night out. So nothing surprises us. He played big time tonight.”

Hart connected on just 10-of-32 three-pointers in the 2023 playoffs. He starts out his 2024 postseason hitting 4-of-8.

Lastly, he was asked about Mitchell Robinson, who played his best game since returning from an ankle injury on March 27.

“I mean they came in and played hard. They did what they were supposed to do. We gotta give them a lot of credit, that’s a good team over there. This isn’t close to being over. We gotta keep fighting. We can’t be complacent. I’m just happy we came away with a win today.”

Robinson finished the night with 8 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, 1 assist, and 1 steal in 30 minutes played.

It’s his first game with 30 or more minutes on the hardwood since December 1.

He and starting center Isaiah Hartenstein finished with more combined offensive rebounds (12) than Philadelphia’s entire team (9).

Robinson told reporters after the victory that “This is the playoffs, it’s a dog fight. You gotta go out there and you gotta fight for your life.”

Brunson: ‘They Had a Great Game Plan’

When asked about his off shooting night in Game One, Brunson told reporters that the 76ers deserved all the credit.

“It’s great defense.” He told SNY. “And they had a great game plan. And I have to go back to the drawing board and be better. But I think, the one thing I just kept turning the page, and turning the page, knowing that things would be better. I have to have a short-term memory when things like that happen. Honestly just gotta give them a lot of credit.”

He finished the night with 22 points on 8-of-26 shooting from the field, making just over 30-percent of his shots.

According to Stathead, Brunson has never finished with less than 25 points on a night where attempted 25 or more field goals.

New York will host the 76ers for one more game at Madison Square Garden before getting on the road for Games Three and Four.

They’ll look for Brunson to recalibrate before they leave the comfort of their home court.

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