Brunson’s Return Propels Knicks To 98-74 Victory Against Magic

Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, NBA News
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks showcased a powerful defensive performance, leading to a 98-74 victory over the Orlando Magic during Friday’s NBA action, highlighting their readiness for potential playoff confrontations.

Jalen Brunson‘s return bolstered the Knicks, contributing 26 points and igniting an early three-point barrage that the Magic couldn’t overcome.

“You could feel the intensity from the tip from them,” Magic star Paolo Banchero said.

This victory marked the Knicks’ most commanding defensive effort of the season, holding the Magic to the lowest point total by any NBA team this year. The Magic, struggling with only 34% shooting, found themselves stifled by New York’s relentless defense.

“Being short-handed right now, we have to do it with our defense and our rebounding and keep the turnovers down,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “And so when we fly around and work together like that and we have the type of activity that we did, that gives us a chance to win.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks, Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic Updates

Josh Hart and Precious Achiuwa played pivotal roles, with Hart scoring 19 points and Achiuwa contributing a double-double alongside a career-high five blocks. Their efforts propelled the Knicks above Orlando in the Eastern Conference standings.

Banchero led the Magic with 23 points and nine rebounds, despite the team’s overall struggles and the absence of Jalen Suggs due to injury. The Magic’s attempt to sweep the season series fell short as they faced a motivated Knicks squad from the outset.

“We knew that they’ve had our number and you’ve got to respect them,” Brunson said. “We just knew we had to come ready to play.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks, Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic Updates

The Knicks established an early lead, powered by their sharpshooting from beyond the arc, and maintained control throughout the game. Despite injuries to key players, New York’s depth and determination were on full display.

Brunson’s performance, alongside notable contributions from the bench, showcased the Knicks’ resilience and adaptability. The team is hopeful for OG Anunoby‘s return, adding another dimension to their lineup as the playoffs approach.

The Knicks and Magic are both looking ahead to their next challenges, with New York set to host Philadelphia in a significant matchup.

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