Brunson drops 45 points as Knicks tame Bulls

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Brunson drops 45 points as Knicks tame Bulls
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 09: Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket against Alex Caruso #6 of the Chicago Bulls during the first half at the United Center on April 09, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
Michael Reaves / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines -- Jalen Brunson exploded for 45 points as he steered the New York Knicks to a massive win over the Chicago Bulls, 128-117, Wednesday morning (Manila time) at the United Center in Chicago.

Brunson made 7-of-12 3-pointers and all 12 of his free throws as he scored more than 40 points for the second consecutive game, and more than 30 points in four straight contests.

He finished with 43 points, eight assists and six rebounds on Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks.

It was a dominant win for the Knicks, who led by as much as 12 points, 36-24, as early as the first quarter with a stepback trey by Brunson.

New York was able to thwart multiple runs by the Bulls as they kept their opponents at bay.

In the final quarter, Chicago cut the lead to four, 97-101, with a turnaround jumper by Demar Derozan to go within striking distance.

The Knicks then outscored the Bulls 18-9 in the next seven minutes to grab a 119-106 lead with 4:32 remaining capped by a floater by Brunson.

Chicago unleashed six straight points to inch closer, 119-112, with back-to-back-to-back baskets by Nikola Vucevic, Derozan and White, but Brunson sank his 45th point of the night with a 3-pointer for the dagger, 122-112, with 2:08 left.

The Bulls did not give up as Derozan tried to will his team back into it, but free throws by Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart iced the game.

OG Anunoby backstopped Brunson with 24 points and three rebounds, while DiVincenzo added 21 points, six assists and four boards.

Hart flirted with a triple-double with 17 markers, 13 boards and seven dimes.

Derozan led Chicago with 34 points, six assists and five rebounds. Vucevic added 26 and five.

The Knicks rose to solo third with a 47-32 record, following the Orlando Magic’s loss against the Houston Rockets also on Wednesday.

The Bulls, who are already assured of the play-in tournament, dropped to 37-42 in the season.

The Knicks will be facing the league-leading Boston Celtics next on Friday.

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