Jalen Brunson shines with 32 pts, leads Knicks past Hornets
Written by mccormacke1 on November 25, 2023
By Jacob Caraballo
On Saturday November 18, 2023, the New York Knicks traveled to the Spectrum Center to play the Charlotte Hornets in the second game of a back to back. Having won 5 out of their last 6, New York would use this opportunity to gain some momentum going into Thanksgiving Week. Charlotte would look to get back on the right side of things with 3 losses in their last 4 games. In his 4th career year in the NBA, LaMelo Ball has proven to be the star of an otherwise struggling Hornets franchise. Ball has averaged career high in points thus far and is looking to match his career high assists with 8.4 (8.3 currently).
As the game tipped off, the New York Knicks would come out of the gate scorching hot from the field with Jalen Brunson scoring 26 first half points for New York as they looked to get their sixth win in the last seven games. They would find themselves up by 15 at the half, which also saw the return of RJ Barrett who had missed the previous 3 games with migraine headaches.
Donte DiVincenzo would prove to be one of the stars of Saturday night’s matchup with a career-high 25 points and 7 3-pointers made. Julius Randle would add 21 points, RJ Barrett with 15, and Jalen Brunson with 32 points.
“I think we’re on our way,” Brunson told ESPN. “There’s still a lot of work to do. We’re 13 games in. We’re in a good stretch and we’ve just got to build off of it.”
Mitchell Robinson crashed the glass hard against the Hornets, Saturday night. The Western Kentucky Center had a game high 14 rebounds for New York. Robinson is now 3rd all- time in offensive rebounds for the Knicks with 1,116, only behind Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing. That is some great company to be in. To put it in perspective, Mitchell Robinson is averaging 7.3 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes which is higher than teams such as the Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, and Milwaukee Bucks to name just a few.
Head Coach Tom Thibodeau on Robinson, “He really had a great year last year and people didn’t recognize how well he played. I think this year he’s gone to another level. The growth has been great. He’s critical to our team.”
On the Charlotte side of things, LaMelo Ball led their team in scoring with 34 points as the Hornets lost their fourth game in a row. Rookie Brandon Miller scored a career-high 29 points and Miles Bridges added 19 of his own.
Over the weekend, the Knicks extended their winning streak as they never trailed in any of their games. LaMelo Ball would hit a couple shots to decrease the Knicks’ lead and pull them within a couple points. However, New York would respond by going on a run of their own led by Donte DiVincenzo which would destroy any hopes of a comeback, defeating the Charlotte Hornets 122-108.
Brandon Miller, #2 overall pick for the Charlotte Hornets, was quick to call out their lack of effort in the post-game interview. Miller told the media, “I think the root of this game was just getting back on defense,” Miller said. “I think we kind of struggled maintaining our man in transition. I think that’s just an effort thing with us, something we’ve got to clean up going into the game against Boston.”
Now in terms of the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks now sit tied with the Miami Heat with a record of 8-5 for the fourth seed. Both teams are 2.5 games behind the first seed, Boston Celtics. The Charlotte Hornets now sit at the 13th seed with a record of 3-9 and 7 games back from the top seed.
Knicks look to continue their hot streak against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday November 20th, as the Hornets host the Celtics and try to get back on track before Thanksgiving break.
Photo by San Diego – Tribune.