SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The opener of the Knicks’ four-game West Coast swing was flexed right into a nationally televised sport pitting two of the NBA’s hottest rising groups.

That TNT viewers watched the Knicks lose their most vital participant once more, and fall wanting finishing a shocking comeback with out Jalen Brunson in opposition to the dynamic Kings, the league’s highest-scoring squad.

The Knicks erased a 21-point third-quarter deficit Thursday evening earlier than struggling their second straight defeat following a nine-game profitable streak, 122-117, at Golden 1 Heart.

“We talked about it. We clearly didn’t like how we began the sport. They’re clearly a really explosive group. I believed the second half was quite a bit higher,” coach Tom Thibodeau stated. “We have been capable of get some stops and had an opportunity to win the sport on the finish.”

Way more important, nevertheless, was Brunson’s return to the lineup lasting solely two quarters. After lacking two video games with a sore left foot, the Knicks’ $104 million level guard didn’t come out for the second half due to the identical harm, the group introduced.

Brunson had scored 19 factors on 6-for-12 capturing in 19 minutes earlier than halftime.

Jalen Brunson, who didn’t return after halftime after reinjuring his foot, loses the ball as he’s swarmed by Kings defenders throughout the Knicks’ 122-117 loss.

“He simply re-aggravated it, however I haven’t talked to the medical folks but,” Thibodeau stated. “Simply soreness.”

Requested if Brunson is headed again to New York for exams, Thibodeau added: “Not that I do know of. I’ll converse with the medical folks. Allow them to do their job. You gotta belief them, and also you belief Jalen. They’ll consider him, and no matter he wants, we’ll be sure that he will get.”

Sixth man Immanuel Quickley endured his second straight horrible capturing efficiency since netting 38 factors over 55 minutes in Sunday’s double-overtime win in Boston. He completed with three factors on 1-for-11 from the ground, together with seven of eight misses from 3-point vary.

RJ Barrett scored 25 factors and Julius Randle had 23 for the Knicks, who fell to 39-29 forward of video games in opposition to the Clippers and the Lakers on back-to-back days starting Saturday in Los Angeles. Barrett and Randle mixed to shoot 3-for-20 from 3-point distance.

Domontas Sabonis, who led the Kings with 24 points, slams home a dunk during the Knicks' loss.
Domontas Sabonis, who led the Kings with 24 factors, slams residence a dunk throughout the Knicks’ loss.
NBAE through Getty Pictures

“Dangerous begin, robust loss, got here again, didn’t shoot the ball nicely, it goes like that typically,” Randle stated. “One possession sport, we would have liked a cease, didn’t get it. Occurs like that typically. So regroup, get to LA, regroup, get a win.”

When requested about Brunson, Randle added: “It’s clearly going to be robust to exchange his manufacturing. We’ll do it. We’re as much as the duty.”

Quentin Grimes scored 19 factors and Josh Hart performed one other all-around robust sport off the bench for the Knicks, filling the stat sheet with 9 factors, 15 rebounds (eight on the offensive glass), seven assists and three steals.

The Knicks slashed a 21-point deficit to seven by the tip of the third quarter earlier than scoring seven straight factors early within the fourth — that includes dunks by Isaiah Hartenstein and Obi Toppin — to shut inside 92-91.

Julius Randle ended up with 23 points after struggling in the first half of the Knicks' loss.
Julius Randle ended up with 23 factors after struggling within the first half of the Knicks’ loss.
NBAE through Getty Pictures

Barrett’s straightaway 3-pointer tied the rating with 8:15 remaining, however All-Star level guard De’Aaron Fox responded with a trey and a driving dunk for a 103-96 lead. Fox completed with 23 factors and 7 assists after lacking Sacramento’s earlier sport with a hamstring harm.

Randle sank two consecutive buckets to shut the hole to 2 with lower than a minute to play, however Fox drove the left facet for a 117-113 sport with 25.4 seconds remaining and Randle turned the ball over on the different finish.

Domantas Sabonis recorded a triple-double with 24 factors, 13 rebounds and 10 assists whereas Malik Monk added 19 factors for the Kings, the No. 2 group within the Western Convention at 39-26.

Kings star guard De'Aaron Fox scored 23 points in the Knicks' loss.
Kings star guard De’Aaron Fox scored 23 factors within the Knicks’ loss.
NBAE through Getty Pictures

The Kings used their pace and obtained to the rim from the outset, hitting eight of their first 10 pictures for an 18-9 lead halfway by the primary quarter. On the different finish, the Knicks missed 9 of their first 11 makes an attempt, together with a 1-for-5 begin by Randle, who scored solely 4 factors within the first 12 minutes.

Sabonis completed the opening interval with 11 on 5-for-6 capturing with three assists, however Brunson knocked down a few late 3-pointers and in addition netted 11 to maintain the Knicks inside 30-23 coming into the second.

Barrett additionally clanked his first 4 field-goal makes an attempt, however he netted 4 straight factors early within the second because the Knicks closed inside three. Harrison Barnes accomplished a 10-1 Sacramento spurt with a reverse layup and a transformed free throw to push the lead again to a dozen.

The Knicks couldn’t cease Monk within the first half. He sank 4 3-pointers and registered 14 factors within the second quarter, sparking the 20-4 run that propelled the Kings to a 65-45 benefit with 1:49 remaining and a 19-point cushion at halftime.

Randle, Barrett and Quickley completed the primary two quarters a mixed 5-for-25 from the sphere, and the Knicks solely have been that shut because of Brunson’s 19 factors plus seven factors and eight boards (5 offensive) by Hart.

Brunson didn’t come again to start out the third quarter, however the Knicks rallied with out him — together with two key 3-pointers by Grimes — and clawed again inside 91-84 coming into the ultimate interval.