The legendary performance of Jalen Brunson earned him a place in Knicks lore

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PHILADELPHIA — By the end, the angry basketball constituents of this city had given up trying to drown out the chants.
So now here was Jalen Brunson at the free-throw line, his knee throbbing and history beckoning, 5.0 seconds to go at the denouement of one of the great playoff games you’ll ever see.
“You expect him to make every shot.” Brunson didn’t make them all, but he made 18 out of 34.
No Knicks player in history had ever paired 40-plus points and 10 assists in a playoff game.
And it certainly goes above any of the games King turned in during the 1984 playoff run, where in 12 games he scored 40 or more points six times.
“The Philly fan base is relentless and very passionate, and I should know since I’m an Eagles fan,” Brunson said.
“But hearing the Knicks fans here was pretty cool.
Obviously you got a lot of Knicks fans and they’re down the road and I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been here for 10 years.


PHILADELPHIA — By the conclusion, the city’s irate basketball supporters had given up on trying to muffle the chants. The majority of them had already left by the time they reached the Ben Franklin Bridge because Kyle Lowry, a cunning player, chose to be too cunning by half and purposefully missed a free throw without telling his teammates about it.

With five points and zero seconds remaining in the final moments of one of the best playoff games you’ll ever witness, Jalen Brunson found himself at the free-throw line, his knee throbbing and history calling. The Knicks took a commanding 3-1 series lead in this best-of-seven series against the 76ers after the first shot extended their lead to four points, effectively winning the game.

With his second basket of the game, he overcame Bernard King and took the lead on the all-time single-game playoff scoring list for a team that has participated in postseason play since 1947. Additionally, it sealed a 97-92 Knicks victory that the 76ers are unable to defend in any manner other than to say that they were soundly defeated at all crucial junctures.

Joel Embiid was held to 16 points and 14 rebounds in the fourth quarter, but OG Anunoby, who would have won the game’s second star if basketball were hockey, said that Embiid was a great player despite giving up 40 pounds and 5 inches of growth. “That becomes the norm for you. “.

He grinned.

You anticipate that he will hit every shot. “.

While Brunson did not make all of them, he did make 18 of the 34. Never before had a Knicks player combined for more than 40 points and ten assists in a postseason match. One Sunday was added to that list. That might not quite rank up to Clyde Frazier’s legendary 36-point, 19-assist, seven-rebound, five-steal performance in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals.

It’s just behind it, though. And it undoubtedly surpasses all the performances King made in the 12 games he played during the 1984 playoff run, in which he scored 40 points or more six times. King had back-to-back 46-point performances against the Pistons that season. However, the Knicks dropped Game 2 at the Silverdome.

Brunson was determined that he would not be rewarded for a valiant effort in a losing cause—what he considered to be the worst kind of basketball noise.

“We found a way, somehow,” he remarked. “.

They did so because, despite not inflicting a misdemeanor battery on anyone, Brunson did everything within his power to match Embiid’s incredible 50-point performance in Game 3. They succeeded due to Anunoby’s outstanding play on both ends, Precious Achiuwa’s timely response, Mitch Robinson’s downfall, and Isaiah Hartenstein’s five fouls. They succeeded because Josh Hart, who ate up 17 rebounds while forcing no field goal, and Miles McBride both made clutch three-pointers.

And they accomplished it, quite astonishingly, in a setting that was nothing like the horror-fest you might have anticipated at Wells Fargo Center, where a sizable contingent of Knicks fans had descended on Sunday to the point where it was occasionally difficult to distinguish between the home team and the away team, particularly when Brunson attempted free throws.

They yelled, “M! V! P!”.

They cried out, “M! V! P!”.

When it became evident that the Knicks would accomplish exactly what they had come to do four days prior, the Philadelphia fans attempted to fight back for the majority of the day. “M! V! P!” they yelled.

“Being an Eagles supporter, I should know—the Philly fan base is tenacious and extremely passionate,” Brunson remarked. However, it was kind of cool to hear the Knicks fans here. I loved it. These exist. They will always be there, wherever we are. “.

It should come as no surprise that Embiid, who finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists, wasn’t quite as happy about the acoustic breakdown as Brunson was.

He called it “disappointing.”. “I cherish our supporters.”. I’m not pointing fingers; it’s unfortunate. “.

Following that, he used a megaphone to confront those fans.

However, it is not encouraging. Obviously, there are a lot of Knicks fans here, and in my ten years here, I’ve never seen it. They’re down the road. Yes, it really annoys me, especially since Philadelphia is known as a sports town. They’ve always turned up, and I don’t think that’s right. Yes. That’s not acceptable. “.

Even though the Knicks have already overcome three double-digit deficits to win their three games, they still have work ahead of them, starting Tuesday night at the Garden. Brunson is adamant that “we have to be better.”. “.

Although Brunson admitted it was “cool,” he added a fitting farewell and refrained from going into too much detail about his Sunday afternoon stroll with the kings.

He said with a smile, “Unless he returns and helps us win the next game.”. He’d deserved it.

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