Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks lit up the court on Friday night, scoring a career-high 50 points and leading his team to a 139-122 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Brunson's performance was not just a personal triumph but a historical moment for the Knicks franchise.
Brunson's achievement was underscored by his flawless 3-point shooting. Hitting all nine of his attempts, Brunson became the first player in Knicks history to score 50 points while making nine 3s. His shooting was near-perfect throughout the game, making 17 of 23 shots, including a remarkable 12 of 12 in the second half.
Brunson's final three-pointer, which brought his total to 50, was a highlight in a game filled with them.
Reflecting on his performance, Brunson said, “I had no idea [about my perfection from long range]. I was just playing free”.Adding to the Knicks' success was Julius Randle, contributing 23 points. The team’s victory was a much-needed boost, particularly as they have won two of their last three games. Meanwhile, the Suns have faced challenges, losing six of their last eight.
Injury Concerns and Suns' Struggles
The Suns, who have been trying to find rhythm with their star trio, suffered another setback with Bradley Beal sustaining an ankle injury in the first quarter. Beal, who landed on the foot of Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo after taking a shot, was seen in pain before being helped off to the locker room.
Suns coach Frank Vogel commented on Beal’s injury, saying, “Injuries are a part of the game... It’s been a frustrating injury type of season for him”.Despite a strong start and leading 68-63 at halftime, the Suns struggled in the later stages of the game.
Kevin Durant, who scored 29 points, and Devin Booker with 28, led the Suns' efforts but couldn't match the Knicks' late-game surge. Durant acknowledged the Knicks' dominance, particularly in the pick-and-roll, which he felt was decisive in the game's outcome.
The Knicks' impressive run in the fourth quarter, marked by a 13-4 run, saw them take the lead and maintain it, eventually pulling away in the final minutes.