Knicks: Jalen Brunson shines in return from injury

jalen brunson, knicks
Dec 23, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) reacts during the third quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson returned to the starting lineup on Monday for their home afternoon matchup against the Phoenix Suns, a game in which nearly every Knick player shined in several aspects.

The Knicks needed Jalen Brunson back badly:

Brunson scored 24 points, dished six assists, and snagged four rebounds as the Knicks demolished the Suns 102-83 for their second consecutive victory.

Sixteen of Brunson’s 24 points came in the second quarter, where both he and the Knicks routed Phoenix by outscoring them 31-20 in the quarter and never looking back.

Brunson’s presence helped allow all five Knicks starters reach double figures. The team’s efficiency was phenomenal as a result, as the Knicks shot 48.6% from the field and 39.4% from outside the arc.

Prior to Monday’s game, Brunson had missed three consecutive games with a sore hip, including missing his homecoming return to Dallas when the Knicks played the Mavericks.

During those three games missed, the Knicks went just 1-2, including dropping a game against the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs. Their lone win came against the last-place Houston Rockets.

Brunson was asked how he felt after playing his first game in multiple days postgame on Monday.

“I hate sitting out”, Brunson said. “I’m just happy I can contribute [and] help these guys. I could still better, I could still be more efficient, I could still close out quarters in games better. Now I still got room for improvement, and I’m happy with overall with how we played.”

Jalen Brunson via MSG Network

Getting Brunson back was something that the Knicks desperately needed, as he provided so much to the Knicks with both his play and his leadership.

They especially needed his services given that the Knicks are still playing shorthanded, with both RJ Barrett (finger) and Obi Toppin (knee) still sidelined with injuries.

Brunson and the Knicks will look to extend their win streak to three games when they stay home at Madison Square Garden for a rematch against the San Antonio Spurs.

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