The Knicks won their first nine games with Josh Hart on their roster following his acquisition last February, and OG Anunoby is also enjoying a wildly successful introduction to New York.
Anunoby scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting with four 3-pointers Wednesday (all-time AEDT) in the Knicks’ wire-to-wire 112-84 rout of the Trail Blazers – and he was showered Well Named. with loud chants of “OG” repeatedly from the Garden crowd.
The instant fan favorite made another massive two-way impact, finishing plus-26 in 29 minutes to increase his staggering overall rating to a cumulative plus-111 in his 5-0 start with the Knicks since a late trade December of the Raptors during a game. During this period, New York was the only undefeated team.
Watch an average of 9 NBA regular season games per week LIVE on ESPN, available through Kayo. Join Kayo now and start streaming instantly >
Ja Morant to undergo season-ending surgery | 00:25
According to Tommy Beer, Anunoby is the first player in NBA history to have a plus/minus of 100 or more in his first five games with a new team.
“If it continued at this level, obviously I would be very happy,” Tom Thibodeau said of Anunoby with a laugh before the game. “When you come in and you’re in the middle of the season, you adapt on the fly. It’s how quickly can you adapt?
“And I told him I felt like he was playing well, just because of the impact he has when he’s on the court.”
Julius Randle added 20 points and Jalen Brunson recorded 12 with seven assists – neither playing in the fourth quarter – in a thorough hammering of the rebuilding Blazers (10-26).
Quentin Grimes (17 points), Miles McBride (16) and Donte DiVincenzo (13) also scored in double figures as the Knicks (22-15 overall) improved to 15-1 this season against teams that had posted a record of defeats before Wednesday’s action. – with their only loss to sub-.500 teams coming against the Jazz in mid-December.
“You play these games, and at the end of the year you look at seeding and all that kind of different stuff, and you don’t want to look at the schedule and say these are the games that got away,” said Randle. “You want to make sure you take care of your business. »
Brunson was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday for the second time this season, strengthening his case for the first All-Star award of his career.
“It is not fair!” – The Celtics stolen?! | 00:43
Brunson was snubbed a year ago – Randle representing the Knicks at All-Star weekend for the second time in his career. But the $104 million point guard posted career highs in scoring (25.6 points per game), assists (6.5) and 3-point percentage (42.6%) over the Team’s first 37 games.
The Knicks began play Wednesday in a five-way deadlock for fourth through eighth playoff positions in the East, and Thibodeau thinks accumulating more wins should help Brunson’s case.
“In my eyes he’s (deserving), yes, but I think it’s a byproduct of winning,” Thibodeau said. “I always say there are so many great players in the league and many deserve it. I know this since I’ve been voting, and obviously I don’t have a vote for my own players, but it comes down to the end, and it’s hard work.
“But there are guys who are very close, and usually what influences close votes is how many wins that player has. So hopefully we can continue to build and win and our players get recognized .But in my eyes, he certainly deserves it.
Brunson, who currently ranks sixth among backcourt players in All-Star fan voting, also received a pregame endorsement from former Knicks and current Blazers coach Chauncey Billups, five All-Star guard and former NBA champion with the Pistons.
“I’m a big fan of Jalen. I think he’s a winner more than anything,” Billups said. “You can talk about how talented he is, how he can score and how he’s just a winner. He makes big plays. He makes winning plays. He leads the league in takedowns and is just a winner.
Brunson managed just four points in the first quarter, mostly shifting the early scoring load to Anunoby, who drained four of five 3-point attempts and scored 16 points, as the Knicks took a 38-22 lead.
McBride and Grimes came off the bench and made two 3-pointers each in the first half, combining for 14 points as the Knicks extended their advantage to 63-41 at intermission.
Brunson and Randle finished the half with 10 points each, and Anunoby added a free throw in the second to tie his previous high of 17 with the Knicks, who led by as many as 39 in the third.
-This story was first published by Peter Botte in the New York Post and reproduced with permission.
Brunson and the Knicks beat the 76ers, Embiid is injured | 00:50
SOMEWHERE ELSE …
The Sacramento Kings rallied from a 19-point deficit to defeat the Detroit Pistons 131-110 and inflict even more pain on Monty Williams’ teams.
The Cade Cunningham-less Pistons exploded out of the gate with an opening 47 points before leading 59-40 with seven minutes left in the first half. From that point on, Sacramento outscored Detroit 91-51 in a dominant stretch.
Domantas Sabonis (37 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists, three steals), Keegan Murray (32 points, five triples, two blocks), De’Aaron Fox (26 points, four threes) all shot for Sacramento, which improved to 22-14 to solidify the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
Bojan Bogdanovic’s 26 points led the Pistons and Jaden Ivey dropped 22 as Detroit lost a fifth straight game and saw its worst NBA record fall to 3-24.
Timber Wolves 113 MAGIC 92
KINGS 131 PISTONS 110
TRAIL BLAZER 84 KNICKS 113
GRIZZLY 120 THE MAVERICKS 103
RAPTORS – LAKERS