MIAMI — The Jalen Brunson admiration society prolonged to the opposing locker room following his 48-minute masterpiece in Sport 5 in opposition to the Warmth on Wednesday.
Brunson and Quentin Grimes performed each second of the Knicks’ season-extending victory on the Backyard, with their place to begin guard scoring a game-high 38 factors to propel his workforce to its next chance to avoid elimination in Game 6 on Friday night time in South Florida.
“He has a terrific aggressive will,” Warmth coach Erik Spoelstra stated after the sport about Brunson. “So, he’s going to proceed to assault, he’s going to attempt to manipulate the protection. He’s aggressive, he’s bodily, however he additionally is aware of how to attract fouls.
“He’s intelligent, so he has that mixture. So be it, you need to respect him as a competitor after which discover a technique to get the job performed.”
Brunson and Grimes turned the primary pair of Knicks to play 48 minutes apiece in a regulation postseason recreation since Walt Frazier and Jerry Lucas went the space in opposition to the Celtics in 1972.
The 26-year-old Brunson additionally registered 9 rebounds and 7 assists in Sport 5 to turn into the primary participant in Knicks historical past to attain not less than 38 factors with that many boards and assists in a single postseason recreation.
“He’s gifted; there’s nice expertise that child has there,” veteran Warmth guard Kyle Lowry stated. “The person has performed 45 minutes and 48 minutes within the final couple of video games, so you bought to present him credit score. He’s simply being aggressive and persevering with to assault.”
All-Star middle Bam Adebayo didn’t suppose the Warmth did sufficient defensively to contest Brunson’s appears on the basket inside and outdoors the 3-point arc. Brunson completed 12-for-22 from the ground, 4-for-10 from lengthy distance and 10-for-12 from the free-throw line for a .545/.400/.833 slash line.
“He’s artful, that’s one factor about him. Our job is for him to make troublesome pictures and I really feel like he obtained in a groove in his spots, and he was making his pictures,” Adebayo stated.
Observe The Publish’s protection of the Knicks vs. Warmth NBA playoff collection
“I feel we had an opportunity to shut out tonight. They didn’t allow us to,” Lowry added. “They performed their butts off and we give them credit score for the way they performed at dwelling. We now have to go dwelling and do our job and shield dwelling court docket.
“They did their job, they protected dwelling court docket and we’ve obtained to reply on Friday.”
And if which means somebody on the Warmth taking part in the whole recreation, as Brunson and Grimes did?
“If [Spoelstra] tells me to play 48 minutes, I’ll be suited and booted and prepared to do this,” stated star ahead Jimmy Butler, who missed Sport 2 with an ankle damage. “And we’ll win.”
Brunson and the Knicks may need one thing to say about that.