Jalen Brunson joins LeBron James, Kobe Bryant for NBA record


Jalen Brunson, 26, of the New York Knicks is the fourth player in NBA history to make more field goals than the rest of his team combined when facing elimination, joining LeBron James (twice), Kobe Bryant, and Penny Hardaway.

In New York’s 96-92 second-round loss to the Miami Heat on Friday night in Game 6 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the fifth-year guard amassed 41 points on 14-of-22 (63.6%) shooting from the floor and 5-of-10 (50%) beyond the arc.

According to a few NBA betting sites, since Jalen Brunson and the Knicks have been eliminated from the playoffs, the Heat now hold fifth-shortest odds to win the championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

Jalen Brunson scored 22 points in the first half, tying his third-most before halftime of any game this season and most in a first half of his playoff career. The guard tallied 15 in the opening quarter.

Miami outscored the Knicks 27-19 in the second quarter. The Heat became the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to make the conference finals — joining the Knicks, who accomplished this feat back in 1999.

Jalen Brunson becomes fourth player in NBA playoffs history to make more field goals than the rest of his team combined in an elimination game, joining LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Penny Hardaway

“Just got to give them a lot of credit. They didn’t play like an 8 seed — at all,” Brunson said. “They were unbelievable. The utmost respect for them and that organization. I liked the way we fought.”

RJ Barrett ended his outing with 11 points, two rebounds, and one assist in 33 minutes of action. Barrett shot 1-of-10 (10%) from the field and missed all three 3-point attempts. However, he shot 9-of-10 (90%) at the foul line.

Barrett became the third player in the last 25 playoffs to shoot 8-of-8 or better on free throws in the first quarter. Stephen Curry shot 10-of-10 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals. Anthony Davis went 8-of-8 versus the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 Western Conference semifinals.

Additionally, Jalen Brunson became the second player in Knicks history to score 20 or more points in 11 straight playoff games, joining Carmelo Anthony in 2012-13 (16 straight).

“Congratulations to the Heat, to the organization, to the coaching staff, Spo [Miami coach Erik Spoelstra] and Pat Riley and all their players,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “They played tough in this series and hats off to them.

“But I’m proud of our guys. There’s always disappointment in the end of the season and in the end, there’ll be one team standing. … Proud of the way this team worked all year.”

In 11 appearances this postseason, Jalen Brunson averaged 27.8 points, 4.9 boards, 5.6 assists, 1.5 steals, and 40.3 minutes per game. Plus, the guard shot 47.4% from the floor and 32.5% outside the arc.

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