LOS ANGELES — The Knicks have posted a number of spectacular wins with level guard Jalen Brunson sidelined, most not too long ago final weekend with a spirited double-overtime victory at Boston. 

They usually practically got here again from a 21-point gap within the second half Thursday with out Brunson in an eventual loss at Sacramento to open a four-game West Coast swing. 

Nonetheless, Brunson’s worrisome departure at halftime Thursday — because of the aggravation of a left-foot harm that had sidelined him the earlier two video games — is a reputable trigger for concern for the Knicks, who’ve a tenuous maintain on the No. 5 playoff place within the Japanese Convention with 14 video games remaining.

He expectedly has been dominated out of Saturday’s sport towards the Clippers, and his standing for the rest of the journey stays doubtful. 

The 26-year-old Brunson has been the Knicks’ most indispensable participant by the preliminary season of the four-year, $104 million contract he signed by way of free company final summer season.

Jalen Brunson’s harm threatens to derail the Knicks’ season.
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He received’t be simply changed if the harm sidelines him for an prolonged interval. 

“Clearly, it’s robust as a result of we had been enjoying so properly,” Knicks teammate Josh Hart stated after the loss to the Kings. “He’s enjoying at an All-Star caliber stage this entire 12 months. So it’s robust to not have him. However we’re a proficient staff, a troublesome group and a resilient group. We went into Boston, probably the greatest groups within the league, with out him and received a troublesome double-overtime sport. 

“Clearly, it sucks. Clearly, initially, we would like him wholesome and wish to get him again. At instances a bunch can overcome adversity. That’s one thing we have now to do — we have now three extra video games on the highway journey. We have now to deal with whoever we play. … Concentrate on them.” 

The Knicks (39-29) will enter back-to-back video games in Los Angeles this weekend towards the Clippers and the Lakers a half sport forward of the No. 6 Nets within the East.

In addition they had been 3 video games away from Miami (which additionally they defeated with out Brunson on Feb. 2) for the seventh seed and the 7-10 play-in state of affairs after the Warmth beat the Cavaliers 119-115 on Friday. 

Jalen Brunson shoots during the Knicks' loss to the Kings on March 9.
Jalen Brunson shoots through the Knicks’ loss to the Kings on March 9.
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Coach Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks overcame a 21-point deficit within the third quarter to tie the rating Thursday evening earlier than they suffered their second straight defeat following a nine-game successful streak. 

Immanuel Quickley had sparked the Knicks to their win over the Celtics with out Brunson, scoring 38 factors in a whopping 55 minutes within the double-OT victory. However Quickley has shot simply 22.2 % from the sphere (6-for-27) within the subsequent two losses, together with 10 misses in 11 makes an attempt towards the Kings. 

“It’s robust. He’s a giant a part of our staff, a giant a part of what we do,” Quickley stated of Brunson. “He’s a pacesetter on and off the ground. All people’s simply gotta be just a little bit higher, play just a little bit extra, particularly defensively like we’ve been saying. So it’s gonna be robust.” 

Jalen Brunson
Jalen Brunson has been crucial to the Knicks’ shocking success.
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Second-year guard Miles McBride has returned to the rotation since Brunson suffered the foot harm, however he has seen restricted motion with 28 mixed minutes over the three video games. 

Brunson reinjuring his foot might be just like the harm Quentin Grimes handled in coaching camp and firstly of the season, struggling a number of setbacks earlier than a full return to the rotation in November. 

“I imply, it’s clearly going to be robust to exchange his manufacturing. We’ll do it. We’re as much as the duty,” Randle stated of Brunson. “Proper now we’ve simply received to discover a technique to lock in, mainly actually on the defensive finish, greater than something, and get off to just a little bit higher begins. Simply be just a little extra constant on that defensive finish all through the sport, so we don’t want the runs to make up floor. I really feel like we’ll be tremendous.”