Knicks Lose 2nd Straight Heartbreaker. Okla City 113 NY 112

Jalen Brunson‘s shot from the corner with a man in his face at the buzzer hit the front of the rim and bounced out, and NY fell to Oklahoma City in a heartbreaker on Easter Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, 113-112.

Brunson had just made a spectacular drive-and-1 to put the Knicks ahead 112-111 with 4 seconds left — but the refs didn’t call the foul as Knicks Twitter howled. Oklahoma’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander then hit a jumper from the baseline out of a time out to put Oklahoma ahead 113-112 with 1.8 seconds left — giving NY that much time to inbound and for Brunson to attempt the desperation game winner.

The Knicks had a 10-point lead entering the 4th but Oklahoma shot 15-19 for the period for the come-from-behind win. Another reason for the loss was that NY missed a ton of free throws — going 23-34 from the free throw line — although Oklahoma was worse, going 12-24 from the free throw line.

The good news — NY almost beat Oklahoma despite playing without Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, and Mitchell Robinson. The bad news — reporters announced before the game that OG Anunoby hasn’t taken any contact in a practice setting since he’s been sidelined with right elbow injury management, according to coach Tom Thibodeau.

“Write what you see. Write what you see. Write what you see,” said Coach Tom Thibodeau afterwards. “That’s all I can say: write what you see.”

“They went on a run, and we had to fight our way back,” added Thibs. “They’re hard to guard. Jalen Williams is a load; he was a problem. Shai is a problem. They average 120. I thought the rebounding was good. We had some fouls that probably hurt us late in the game when we were in the penalty. To me, it was a pretty physical game, and then it became a touch game — so we have to adjust.”

NY falls to 44-30. Oklahoma City improves to 52-22.

1. NY Jumps Out to 22-17 Lead

NY had just lost a heartbreaker to San Antonio in overtime when Brunson missed a 3 with 5 seconds left that would have won the game, with Precious Achiuwa grabbing the offensive rebound but flipping it out of bounds on a pass to Donte DiVincenzo.

But the Knicks put that behind them and took a 22-17 lead at the end of the 1st quarter in the Easter Sunday night game against the Thunder, despite Donte DiVincenzo missing his first 3 shots and Jalen Brunson missing 4 of his first 5 shots. Josh Hart was scoring inside with Precious Achiuwa, and Donte DiVincenzo finally nailed a 3 late in the period.

2. J Williams Kills NY; Okla Takes Lead at the Half

NY went up 26-23 off a Hartenstein dunk early in the 2nd quarter.

But Oklahoma’s defense started attacking the Knicks effectively and Jalen Williams went off — killing the Knicks with drives and pull-up jumpers, as Oklahoma outscored NY 33-24 in the quarter to take a 50-46 halftime lead.

Jalen Williams — Okla’s 6’5 scoring forward drafted #12 in the 2022 draft out of Santa Clara — is averaging 19.5 ppg on the season and .431 from 3. In this game he was 14-18 from the floor (1-4 from 3) for 33 pts.

“They are playoff people,” said Thibs about Oklahoma. “They were flying at us. That’s where we got to read that; we got to shot fake; we got put it on the floor; and we have to make another play; or we have to fake the pass — they were jumping into the passing lanes. They were locked into Donte pretty well.”

DiVincenzo finished the game 4-18 from the floor (4-16 from 3) and 3-4 in free throws for 15 pts.

3. McBride & Knicks Pull Out to 12-Pt Lead in 3rd Quarter

But the Knicks came out of the half with adjustments made — and took it to Oklahoma City.

Miles McBride hit a 3 to start the 3rd quarter, and Brunson followed with a 3 and then a drive for 8 straight Knick points.

After a Cason Wallace 3, the Knicks responded — DiVincenzo, Brunson, and McBride hit consecutive 3’s and NY was on top 63-55.

Precious Achiuwa and Alec Burks added to the scoring and NY went up by 12 before a Shai jumper pulled Okla within 10 to end the 3rd.

4. Okla On Fire in 4th

With Brunson out resting — NY again was outscored at the start of the 4th quarter — something that has been happening in a lot of games.

Oklahoma scored 7 straight points to start the period; and then Kenrich Williams hit a 3 to tie it.

Josh Giddy — who the Knicks had held down all game — started scoring and Oklahoma pulled out to a 104-96 lead with 4:44 left. Oklahoma would shoot 15-19 in the 4th quarter.

5. Knicks Come Back Down Stretch

But the Knicks fought back — McBride was fouled taking a 3 and hitting all 3 free throws, then Brunson hit a 3 to tie it at 104-104 with 3:33 left.

Jalen Williams hit a 3, and Shai hit free throws, but McBride hit a HUGE 3 with 1:48 left to pull NY to within 109-108.

Jalen Williams hit another J to put Okla up 3, but DiVincenzo picked up a foul on a drive and hit 1 of 2 free throws to pull NY within 2 with 53 seconds left.

Wild Ending

Brunson missed a J but NY got the offensive rebound, and Brunson was fouled on an ensuing drive. With a chance to tie the game — he missed the second free throw and NY was down 1 with 18 seconds left — but Hartenstein grabbed the offensive rebound — fed DiVincenzo who missed a 3 –McBride missing a tip on an offensive rebound — but the ball going out of bounds off Okla and NY had the ball again with 12 seconds left.

Thibs didn’t use his final timeout — instead NY inbounded and Brunson drove for the bucket-and-1 — the foul not being called.

Shai hit the jumper out of the time out, and then Brunson missed the baseline jumper at the buzzer for the old ballgame.


  • Hartenstein had 17 points and 12 rebounds. He kept Chet Holmgren in check — Holmgren had only 5 pts on 2-8 shooting in 26 minutes.
  • Brunson had 30 pts on 11-25 shooting and a +17.
  • NY kept Shai under control all game — he had 19 pts and a -17 — but hit the big shot at the end.
  • Miles McBride had 19 pts on 6-15 shooting (4-10 from 3).
  • Josh Hart had 13 pts on 4-9 shooting (5-6 in free throws), 15 rebounds, and 6 assists.
  • Precious Achiuwa had 8 pts and 9 rebounds.

The Boxscore

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