Jalen Brunson leads Knicks’ blowout of Stephen Curry-less Warriors to extend NBA’s longest winning streak
RJ Barett added 18 and five dimes while Mitchell Robinson was just a point short of the double-double (9 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals).
Their balanced offense came with an equally impressive defense, though Tom Thibodeau was less than happy going into the fourth quarter despite the Knicks leading by 19.
Heeding their coach’s call to defend better, the Knicks unleashed an 11-0 bombshell to start the final quarter. Their lead swelled to 30, prompting Warriors coach Steve Kerr to wave the white flag.
Without Curry and Andrew Wiggins, the Warriors had a hard time picking up points in the face of the Knicks’ stifling defense.
Grimes and the Knicks limited Jordan Poole to 8 of 18 shots from the floor and bleed for 26 points. They also kept Klay Thompson and Draymond Green at bay, with the Warriors’ veteran duo recording just 18 points.
The larger and more physical Knicks smothered the smaller Warriors, taking a sizeable plus-18 advantage in rebounds, plus-12 in points in the suit, and plus-10 in second chance points. Golden State could only get four offensive rebounds.
Brunson showed the Knicks the way early, scoring 16 points in the first half.
He cautioned against complacency after they further cemented their spot in the Eastern Conference’s top six teams with their 18th win against 13 losses.
“We cannot be complacent at all. We just have to keep grinding and stay focused. This is only Game 31. We have to keep an eye on the price.”
Jalen Brunson after the game via TNT
Brunson’s growth as a point guard to the All-Star level has stabilized the Knicks this season. This $104 million deal looks more like a bargain in any passing game.
On Wednesday night, the back end of a back-to-back home stand, the Knicks will seek a ninth straight win over the stumbling Toronto Raptors, who are mired in a six-game losing streak. They will look to continue their longest winning streak under Thibodeau, which came near the end of the 2020-21 regular season, en route to their first playoff spot in eight years.
It’s too early to tell, but as the Knicks continue to grow and build chemistry, they’re looking like a playoff contender again.
And it all starts with Brunson’s brilliant point guard play, which the Knicks narrowly missed in the 2009 NBA draft when Curry was a pick ahead of them.