From the AP:
Jalen Brunson scored 27 points, hitting the go-ahead basket in overtime, and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Hornets 134-131 on Wednesday night.
Brunson also had 13 assists and seven rebounds. RJ Barrett scored 22 points, and Julius Randle had 17 for New York, at 3-1 off to its best start in 10 years.
Gordon Hayward led Charlotte with 21 points. PJ Washington, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Jalen McDaniels each had 17.
Brunson’s 3-pointer with 3:14 left in overtime gave the Knicks the lead for good — at 124-122.
“We kept fighting,” Brunson said. “We found a way to win this game. We stayed poised and kept finding plays to make at the end of the game.”
It should really be said more that Brunson kept fighting (well, Mitch, too, but guys like Mitch, as good as they are, really rely on the other players on offense, so he can be having a good game and if the guys around him suck, he won’t score). He wouldn’t let the Knicks lose tonight. Him and the Hornets lack of cohesion (playing without their All-Star point guard, LaMelo Bell, as well as their second best plater, and other lead guard, Terry Rozier) were the decisive things keeping this from being a loss for the Knicks. If this was last year’s Knicks team, this was a guaranteed loss. So that was nice to see.
But boy, the Hornets sure played d-u-m DUMB, right down to PJ Washington not making sure his foot was behind the line on what could have been a game-tying three.
The Knicks’ perimeter defense was pathetic tonight. Luckily, Mitch played very well on defense in the paint, but Hartenstein was left in no man’s land a lot and it did not look good (it reminds me of some similar breakdowns last year where Mitch and Noel were just stuck with every perimeter player just letting their man go right to the hoop).
Randle played well at times, but often also fell back into the awful ISO stuff (at least they were terrible drives to the basket as opposed to even worst fadeaways). I swear, when Brunson was forced to give the ball up, the other Knicks didn’t seem to want any part of the ball (I really though Charlotte should have tried harder to get the ball out of Brunson’s hands late).
But, whatever, it was an ugly win, but it was a win, and it shows how valuable Brunson is to this team. Without him, hoo boy, they would not be any good.