Jalen Brunson's 61 points not enough as Victor Wembanyama's 40-20 effort propels Spurs past Knicks in OT

by 24USATVMarch 30, 2024, 7 a.m. 21
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Jalen Brunson's 61 points not enough as Victor Wembanyama's 40-20 effort propels Spurs past Knicks in OT

Jalen Brunson challenged Carmelo Anthony's New York Knicks scoring record in a 61-point night on Friday.

But it wasn't enough as Victor Wembanyama powered the San Antonio Spurs to a 130-126 overtime win over his Knicks.

While Brunson lit up the scoreboard, Wembanyama added another sensational stat line to his remarkable rookie season. The Spurs center posted 40 points, 20 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block to lead San Antonio to its third straight win. The 40-point, 20-rebound effort was the first by a rookie since Shaquille O'Neal posted 46 points and 21 rebounds with the Orlando Magic in 1993.

Brunson helped rally the Knicks from a 74-57 halftime deficit to a late fourth-quarter lead. He put the Knicks up, 121-119 on a bucket with 1:14 remaining to reach 59 points, three short of Anthony's 62-point Knicks scoring record.

But Wembanyama sent the game to overtime with a pair of free throws with 24 seconds remaining.

In overtime, Brunson had a chance to give the Knicks the lead and break Anthony's record with a 3-point attempt with 5.1 seconds remaining and San Antonio leading 128-126. But his shot bounced off the back of the rim, and Spurs held on for victory.

After the game, a jubilant Wembanyama addressed the Spurs' home crowd.

"Love you guys, love the support," Wembanyama said. "Go Spurs go."

Brunson, Wemby both turned it up after halftime

San Antonio seized control of the game early, jumping out to a 38-27 lead that it extended to 17 points at halftime. Brunson had a strong first half with 21 points, but nothing like the outburst that would arrive after the break.

Wembanyama countered with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists as his Spurs took a commanding lead.

Then Brunson took over. He outscored the Spurs on his own in the third quarter with 24 points while hitting 10 of 13 field goals, including all four of his 3-point attempts. New York outscored San Antonio 34-20 in the stanza to cut its deficit to 94-91 heading into the fourth.

From there, Brunson and Wembanyama continued to trade blows before Wembanyama's Spurs ultimately secured the win.

Wembanyama shot 13 of 22 from the floor, including a 4-of-9 effort from 3-point distance. Brunson added six assists and four rebounds to his 61-point effort. He shot 25 of 47 from the floor and 5 of 13 from 3-point distance. It just wasn't enough in the face of Wembanyama's likewise stellar night.

The Knicks fell to 44-29 to remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the third-place Cleveland Cavaliers.

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