Gotta Have Hart. And Brunson. NY 124 Brooklyn 106

In his second game as a Knick, Josh Hart did it again — playing with fire and intensity, getting to every loose ball and rebound, hitting 3’s and scoring 27 points to raise the level of play of the entire Knicks team by an order of magnitude.

Meanwhile his old Villanova National Title teammate Jalen Brunson had another MONSTER game — 40 points on incredible 15-21 shooting. The two tag-teamed to carry the Knicks to a BLOWOUT of the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on a Monday night.

“The thing I love about what Josh does for the team, is that, it’s for the team — everything,” said coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “There’s a lot of guys who score points in this league who don’t impact winning the way Josh impacts winning.”

About Brunson, Thibs said, “he’s going to give the game whatever it needs. So if we need more scoring, it’ll be scoring. He’s in the paint creating havoc. Then they went to the double team he got off the ball quick and we got good offense from that as well. He just gives the team a lot of confidence.”

“Josh was terrific,” Thibs added. “Quick gave us great minutes. Isaiah gave us great minutes. Julius made a lot of big plays for us. Overall just a good solid win.”

1. Nets & Dinwiddie Had Lead at the Half

The Nets actually had a 3-point halftime lead, carried by the tremendous first half by Spencer Dinwiddie who had 20 points by intermission.

Jalen Brunson was scoring at will for the Knicks, keeping NY in it.

Meanwhile, RJ Barrett had another tough first half — 0 points on 0-5 shooting (0-3 from 3) — although he played well overall and 5 shots is not a lot of shots.

2. Knicks Rallied at End of 3rd

To start the 2nd half, Barrett came out strong — hitting his first two shots early in the quarter. What was different about this game than prior games where Barrett has had big second halves, is that Barrett only took one more shot — a 3 in the 4th that he missed — and never scored any more points — finishing with 4 points on 2-8 hooting in 24 minutes with a -7. Barrett played team ball — only taking 8 shots in a game where Brunson and Hart were red hot.

The Knicks shut down Dinwiddie in the 3rd quarter (he entered the 4th with the same 20 points he had at the half, and finished with 28 pts).

The game was tied 80-80 with 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. It looked like another frustrating one for the Knicks against the Nets — even with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, or James Harden long gone.

But then Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart took over, along with Isaiah Hartenstein — making hustle plays and scoring points to put NY up 93-83 at the end of 3.

3. NY Blows Brooklyn Out in 4th

The Knicks maintained the lead early in the 4th — with Brunson scoring at will, and Hart coming up with Big hustle plays on the court. Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, and Isaiah Hartenstein joined them as the Knick “Finishers”.

And then with NY up 9 and 7:30 left, NY went to another level — led by Hart, who grabbed a loose ball and drove for a bucket and one. It gave NY a 12 point lead and seemed to break the Nets will — NY was off to the races.

Brunson, Hart, Quickley, and Hartenstein owned the court and put on a scoring show.

  • Hart finished an amazing 10-14 from the floor (4-6 from 3) for 27 points and a +25.
  • Brunson had a +23 along with his 40 points on 15-21 shooting (6-9 from 3).
  • Randle had 18 points on 7-17 shooting with 10 rebounds and 4 assists.

  • Quickley scored 14 pts on 4-8 shooting (2-3 from 3) and had a +22 in 28 minutes.
  • Hartenstein played 24 minutes andΒ  had 8 pts and a +29. Jericho Sims also played 24 minutes and had 2 pts and 7 rebounds.
  • Barrett finished with the 4 points. He played early in the 4th; had a turnover, missed a 3, and got called for an offensive foul that seemed BS — he was simply mildly fighting for position on an inbounds. Barrett left with 8 minutes left and NY up 9. He was seen going back to the lockerroom a minute later and did not return.


In the post-game interview, Thibodeau compared Hart to Jimmy Butler — when a reporters said, “it sounds like you just described Jimmy Butler there.”

Thibs: “I can tell you an interesting story. I was in Minnesota — obviously we studied him (Butler) pretty extensively. And watching Jimmy in college and the things he did at Marquette; Josh reminded me of that, with the things he did at Villanova. There’s just something about him. Those types of players give your team heart; they give your team toughness — and that goes a long way.”

The Boxscore


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.