Jalen Brunson has 5 career 40-point games with Knicks, tying Walt Frazier and Stephon Marbury

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Jalen Brunson has 5 career 40-point games with New York Knicks, tying Walt Frazier and Stephon Marbury

Jalen Brunson recorded his fifth career 40-point game with the New York Knicks in Friday night’s 110-105 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA In-Season Tournament, tying Walter Frazier and Stephon Marbury for the most by a point guard in franchise history.

In 42 minutes of action, Brunson ended his performance with 45 points, five rebounds, four assists, and one steal. Plus, he shot 17-of-30 (56.7%) from the field, 2-of-8 (25%) outside the arc, and 9-of-11 (81.8%) at the foul line. The Knicks entered this matchup ranked 28th in offensive rating.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the New York Knicks hold 15th-ranked odds to win this season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are also showing the Eastern Conference contender with third-best odds to win East Group B of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.

“He can make 3s, but he doesn’t settle for 3s,” Damian Lillard said of Brunson. “He draws fouls. And he knows how to position himself in front of the defender. He puts the defender in tough positions, to where you almost, you have to foul. You’re trying to defend hard like you’re taught to, and he’s having you at his mercy.”

In Game 4 of the 2023 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat, Brunson put up 32 points and 11 assists in a 109-101 loss. He joined Frazier and Patrick Ewing as the only players in Knicks history to post at least 30 points and 10 assists in a playoff game.

Jalen Brunson ties Walter Frazier and Stephon Marbury with five 40-point games with New York Knicks

Late in the fourth quarter of Friday’s loss, Brunson gave the Knicks their first lead since early in the second quarter by hitting a clutch 3-pointer with 1:10 remaining.

After Brunson missed a 10-footer with 49 seconds left, Khris Middleton found Lillard cutting to the basket for a driving layup to start a 3-point play that made it 107-103 with 38 seconds to go.

Brunson then executed a driving layup, cutting Milwaukee’s lead to 108-105 with 8.8 seconds left. However, Lillard sealed the victory for the Bucks by hitting two free throws with 6.4 seconds left.

“Hard-fought [game], but we didn’t do enough to get it done at the end,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We’d better come back with more determination.”

Through six games of the 2023-24 season, Brunson is averaging 24.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steal, and 35 minutes per game. The Villanova product is also shooting 42.4% from the floor, 39.5% from 3-point range, and 79.4% at the free throw line.

The Bucks and Knicks are in East Group B of the tournament along with the Hornets, Wizards, and Heat. All five teams in the group will play one another this month as part of their regular-season schedules.

The tournament’s six group winners and two wild-card teams advance to the quarterfinals on Dec. 4-5.