Knicks led by heroic performance from Jalen Brunson outlast Pistons 118-112

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks would take on a struggling Pistons squad at Madison Square Garden, as Detroit entered the evening on a 15-game losing streak and the second night of a back-to-back, it was truly a game you’d feel New York would dominate in. As the first quarter came to a close, the Knicks held a 31-17 lead, and it felt like that would be the start of an easy win, but the Pistons had other plans. Led by a masterful performance from Cade Cunningham, they’d punch right back with a 37-23 quarter to close out the half, tied at 54.

The third quarter would only cause more frustration as the Knicks would be outscored 33-31, as the team struggled to stop anybody in the Detroit lineup, but New York would snap back into it with a great fourth quarter to secure their 11th win of the season.

Jalen Brunson Shines in Nerve-Wracking Win For Knicks

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks
Nov 30, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) goes to the basket during the first half against the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

After a quiet night in the Knicks’ 115-91 blowout win over the Hornets, Jalen Brunson got right back to his scoring tear, going for 42 points on 54.2% shooting, as he needed just 24 total shots to dismantle the Pistons and hand them their 16th-consecutive loss the season. Brunson continues to dominate from three, as the 27-year-old guard hit seven of his 12 attempts from beyond the arc, and he’s having a career year from downtown on the season. Attempting a career-high 6.6 attempts a game, Brunson is shooting 46.9% on the season, and that’s masked his issues from inside the arc.

His 42-point performance alongside eight assists and six rebounds gave him another impeccable showing on offense, and it was the driving force behind the Knicks’ 118-112 win. He wasn’t the only star on the court, as Julius Randle went off for 29 points on 12-21 shooting (57.1%), bringing down 10 boards and matching Brunson with eight assists. The two-time All-NBA forward is shooting 47.2% from the field in his last seven games, averaging 22.7 points and 10 rebounds a game.

RJ Barrett had some shooting issues from three, hitting just one of his six attempts from downtown, and only scoring 15 points as a result. It’s been a rough shooting stretch for Barrett, averaging under 15 points per game with below 40% shooting since returning to the starting lineup. He was due for some regression after getting off to an incredible tear, but his efficiency is coming back to normal.

Donte DiVincenzo had some huge shots down the stretch, as he hit four shots on eight makes, all from three to give the Knicks a much-needed jolt in their 4th Quarter masterclass. After a rough start to his season, some of DiVincenzo’s shooting woes are turning around, and he’s above 40% from three once again. As for Mitchell Robinson, he added nine boards and six points, with six crucial offensive rebounds that gave the Knicks a slight edge.

Immanuel Quickley also struggled, as he shot just 2-10 from the field and only scored five points as a result, but Josh Hart was solid with seven points on three shots and seven rebounds, plucking a steal in the process. Isaiah Hartenstein had a pretty quiet scoring night with just two points and three boards, but he added three steals and created some much-needed turnovers that helped tip the scale in the Knicks’ favor.

It takes the Knicks to 11-7 on the season, which puts the Knicks just a game out from the four-seed. New York has gone on a solid run since starting the season 2-4, as the Knicks have gone on a 9-3 run and are starting to turn up their efficiency and scoring numbers. They’ll play the second game of a back-to-back tomorrow night against Toronto on the road, squaring off against a Raptors team that they’ve been 7-26 against in their last 33 matchups.