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Knicks History Means Nothing to Jalen Brunson – In Best Way

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Adventure? Excitement? New York Knicks individual history? A Jalen craves not these things.

Jalen Brunson offered a resounding reminder to anyone doubting his postseason prowess on Sunday afternoon, standing as the driving force behind the Knicks’ 97-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The point guard lived up to his headlining billing and then some, breaking a franchise record Bernard King had for 40 years with 47 points.

History, however, means nothing to Brunson, who has vowed not to think about the honor unless King opts out of retirement to join the cause.

“It’s pretty cool,” Brunson said, per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News. “But unless (King) comes back and helps us win the next game, I promise you I’ll think about (setting the record) later.”


Apr 28, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives

Brunson has spent the past two seasons swatting every narrative that has come his way and Sunday was the latest example: perhaps left for dead by some observers after he shot just over 29 percent from the field in the first two games, Brunson took over a Knick game that saw the visiting Manhattanites reduced to seven men in the wake of injuries to Bojan Bogdanovic and Mitchell Robinson.

Subplots centered on further slights have emerged: Brunson was not included on any lists of finalists for the major individual awards, including MVP (though home and opposing arenas alike are still more than happy to chant the initials in his favor) and also kept off the United States men’s national team’s Olympic roster despite standing as the top American scorer. An early Philadelphia breakout, one that threatened to send the series back to Madison Square Garden tied 2-2, had the Brunson deniers ready to hit send on a firestorm of X posts justifying his rejections.

Instead, Brunson took over in obvious and subtle ways: between points and assists, he had a direct role in 31 of the Knicks’ first 34 tallies before he was granted a rest toward the end of the second period. He refused to back down from Philadelphia MVP/agitator Joel Embiid and continued to throw his body around the floor despite briefly retreating to the locker room with a sligh limp at the onset of the fourth.

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Apr 28, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives for a

Yet, Brunson refused to accept individual responsibility in the aftermath.

“Somehow we just found a way, kept fighting, kept sticking together. We found a way,” Brunson said, per Winfield. “When it’s ugly and we can find a way to win like that, when we’re not playing perfect, it’s a plus for us, a plus for our confidence.”

Thanks to Brunson and more, the Knicks have three opportunities to punch their ticket to round two, beginning with Tuesday’s fifth game at MSG (7 p.m. ET, MSG/TNT).

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