As the New York Knicks overcame the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 31, Jalen Brunson had a career-scoring night, dropping 48 points to help will his team to victory.
Since joining the Knicks this past summer, Brunson has become an integral cog in the team’s offense, yet, against Cleveland, he found another level. Speaking to the sideline reporter after the game, Brunson was his usual humble self, crediting his teammates and coaching staff for putting him in the position to have such an impressive outing.
“I mean, it’s a credit to my teammates, man,” Brunson said. “They gave me a lot of confidence. My coaching staff gave us a lot of confidence in anything I do on the court. It’s a credit to them… I was just trying to find a way to impact his game. And at first and I got to my spot. So I was able to make a couple of pull-ups in the mid-range, and then the ball kept going in.”
Brunson’s overall statline looked like this: 48 points, 4 rebounds, and 9 assists on 56.3% shooting from the field and 58.2% from three-point range, making 7 of his 12 long-range attempts.
Donovan Mitchell Praises Jalen Brunson
Knicks fans are no strangers to Donovan Mitchell after they spent last summer hoping to see him suiting up for the Knickerbockers this year. Ultimately, the All-Star guard landed with the Cavaliers, but that didn’t stop him from praising Brunson’s performance against his team.
“I mean, I’ve seen this for the year. I saw the same thing last year,” Mitchell said. “He’s just shifty; he can get to his spots in different ways. The biggest thing is he had 50, but he had nine assists; at the end of the day, that’s the standout. You know, 50 is, is great, and that’s a lot of work to put in, but being able to get everybody else involved, I think that’s what I took away the most. From that, now he’s not accountable just for 50 points, but at minimum 18 other points. So, that’s the tough part, that we just that I look at it, I’m like, alright, we can fix that.”
Tom Thibodeau Impressed With Brunson
Mitchell wasn’t the only person to heap praise on Brunson following the Knicks’ latest win, as head coach Tom Thibodeau also took some time out of his post-game press conference to discuss his star guard’s performance.
“He’s averaged, I think 24 points a game,” Thibodeau said. “And so he’s had big scoring nights. He’s had a player of the month in the NBA. So he’s had stretches where he’s done everything. So we know that that’s part of, I think, right now everyone’s got a good rhythm because they got a good feel for each other. So they’re playing to each other’s strengths. They’re covering up weaknesses; they’re playing smart; they’re playing tough.”