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Jalen Brunson scores 30 first half points, Knicks move closer to 4th seed after embarrassing Nets

Beating the crosstown rivals never looked as easy for the Knicks with Wednesday’s 142-118 breeze over the Nets, a victory that represented their seventh consecutive and placed them at the doorstep of the fourth seed.

Jalen Brunson scored 30 of his 39 points in the first half, providing the home team a quick robust lead that never got back to single digits in the final three quarters. Brunson shot 15-for-18 on the night.

The Knicks (37-27) are now just 1 ½ games out of fourth in the East behind the Cavs (39-26), who lost Wednesday to the Celtics.

The Nets (34-28), meanwhile, are freefalling after trading Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. They’ve dropped four straight since extending the contract of coach Jacque Vaughn. Wednesday was the most embarrassing.

The Knicks shot 61% overall and 57% from beyond the arc on 20 made 3-pointers. Brooklyn’s resistance was minimal. Its only positive was 33 points from Cam Johnson.

The blowout commenced early. The Knicks led by 18 in the first quarter and 27 in the second. They scored 81 points in the first half, just three points short of the franchise record. It was the most points the Nets ever surrendered in the first half.

Before the Nets dealt Durant, they won nine straight against the Knicks. Now they’ve lost two consecutive.

Tom Thibodeau clearly has the better squad in NYC.

“We talk about that a lot. Every decade, style of play can be different. Fast, slow, shooting the three the way everyone is today. But the things that go into winning are the same: unselfishness, hard work, discipline, dependability,” Thibodeau preached before the blowout. “That’s also what drives improvement and achievement. The more willing you are to make that commitment to work, have discipline and be dependable — for each other. And play through things, be mentally tough. The only way you can be mentally tough is to go through things together.”

The Knicks have cleared every hurdle in the last few weeks and have an important two-game trip upcoming at Miami and Boston.

“That’s the thing about streaks. Our last game against Boston has nothing to do with tonight,” Thibodeau said. “Don’t look back, don’t look ahead. Know that, OK, today we have to come in, these are things we have to do better than we did in the Boston game, and we also have to know and understand what it’s going to take tonight. Don’t look ahead. Keep the same process for each and every game, and if you’re doing the right things, we’ll win our fair share of games.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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