NBA ROUNDUP: Jalen Brunson proves his All-Star credentials for Knicks

NBA ROUNDUP: Jalen Brunson proves his All-Star credentials to fire Knicks to sixth win in seven, Warriors thrash Spurs in front of record crowd and Hawks beat Pacers in the final seconds

  • Jalen Brunson scored 34 points as the Knicks beat the Wizards in Washington 
  • The Golden State Warriors thrashed the Spurs in front of an NBA record crowd 
  • Elsewhere, Hawks beat the Pacers, Pelicans beat Pistons, Thunder beat Bulls
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Jalen Brunson scored 34 points, including a couple crucial free throws with 13.9 seconds left, and the New York Knicks held off a furious Washington rally in a 112-108 victory over the Wizards on Friday night.

Julius Randle had 23 points and 16 rebounds for the Knicks, who won for the sixth time in seven games. He also provided the game’s biggest highlight with his left-handed dunk in the third quarter over Washington’s Daniel Gafford.

The Knicks went on a 14-0 run early in the fourth, and they still led 105-94 with 2 minutes remaining before Washington nearly took the game back. A layup by Kyle Kuzma cut the lead to three with 27 seconds remaining, and then Randle made just one of two free throws.

Jalen Brunson celebrates during another mammoth performance for the New York Knicks

Kuzma was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left, but he made only two of three attempts from the line. Then Brunson made both of his free throws to make it 110-106.

Kuzma and Rui Hachimura missed at the other end, and two more free throws by Brunson made it a six-point game with 3.5 seconds to play. Kuzma then made a shot at the buzzer to finish with 40 points on the night.

‘Jalen Brunson. He just took over the game,’ Kuzma said. ‘He’s an All-Star this year. He’s been playing phenomenal basketball. You can just tell from the team last year to this year, they have more poise and patience, and they look for him, and he delivered tonight.’

Jordan Poole scored 25 points, Donte DiVincenzo added 22 and the Golden State Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 144-113 on Friday night before an NBA-record crowd of 68,323 at the Alamodome.

The attendance shattered the previous regular-season record of 62,046 who watched Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls play the Atlanta Hawks at the Georgia Dome on March 27, 1998.

The Spurs normally play at the AT&T Center but returned to their former home as the franchise celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Golden State set its season high in points, surpassing its previous high in a 143-141 victory in double-overtime over Atlanta on Jan. 2.

Klay Thompson had 16 points and Stephen Curry added 15. Tre Jones had 21 points for San Antonio. The Spurs have lost four straight and seven of eight.

Jordan Poole was in form for the Warriors as they thrashed the Spurs on record-breaking night

Atlanta Hawks 113, Indiana Pacers 111 

John Collins tipped in a missed shot with less than a second left to give the Atlanta Hawks a 113-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

Trae Young scored 26 points and De´Andre Hunter had 25 for the Hawks. Young was 6 of 10 from 3-point range and Hunter 6 of 9. Hunter´s six 3-pointers were a career-high. The Hawks made 16 of 31 3-pointers overall. Onyeka Okongwu added 18 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 26 points and Buddy Hield had 18 points for Indiana. The short-handed Pacers who were without three starters.

After Dejounte Murray, who scored 18 points, stole the ball and scored to give the Hawks a 108-107 lead. Mathurin scored to put Pacers ahead 109-108 with 58 seconds left. He was fouled on the basket but missed the free throw.

John Collins was the hero at the death for the Hawks as they beat the Pacers very late on

Young made a 3-pointer to give the Hawks a 111-109 lead with 32 seconds remaining. Hield hit two free throws to tie it at 111 with 21.5 seconds to go.

‘When we are hitting shots, we tend to play defense,’ Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. ‘It was good to see some of those shots go down. Our last game (against Milwaukee) it was like something was over the rim and nothing would fall for anybody. Tonight those shots started to fall. De´Andre got hot and started to knock down shots and so do Trae. I thought our defense was really good to hold them to 22 points (in the fourth quarter).’

New Orleans Pelicans 116, Detroit Pistons 110 

Jonas Valanciunas scored 13 of his 33 points in the first quarter and the New Orleans Pelicans went on to beat the Detroit Pistons 116-110 on Friday night.

‘JV had a monster game,’ Pelicans coach Willie Green said. ‘He dominated in the post and he dominated on the boards and we needed every point and every rebound.’

New Orleans’ CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy III each had 19 points and Naji Marshall added 17. The Pelicans played without a trio of injured players: Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Herbert Jones.

‘For our team to be really successful everybody has to eat,’ Murphy said.

With key players out of the lineup, Pelicans such as Murphy are taking advantage of increased roles.

‘It helps with the growth of all of our guys,’ Green said. ‘The ability to get meaningful minutes pays dividends.’

Jonas Valanciunas had a ‘monster game’, according to his Pelicans coach Willie Green

Minnesota Timberwolves 121, Phoenix Suns 116 

Anthony Edwards scored 31 points, D’Angelo Russell had 17 and Minnesota held off short-handed Phoenix.

Taurean Prince added 16 points off the bench and fellow reserve Naz Red had 13 points for Minnesota. The Timberwolves won for the fourth time in five games and bounced back from a 135-118 loss in Detroit on Wednesday night.

Damion Lee led Phoenix with a career-high 31 points and Mikal Bridges had 24. The Suns were again without stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker, along with Cameron Johnson and backcourt backups Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet.

Deandre Ayton returned after missing two games with a left ankle sprain and had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Anthony Edwards (pictured) scored 31 points to help the Minnesota Timberwolves to a win

Oklahoma City Thunder 124, Chicago Bulls 110 

Josh Giddey matched a season high with 25 point and added 10 rebounds, helping Oklahoma City beat Chicago.

Rookie Jalen Williams scored 22 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 21 for the Thunder. They have won two straight, four of five and completed a sweep of their season series against Chicago.

Zach LaVine scored 25 points for the Bulls.

Josh Giddey was the main man in Chicago as the Thunder beat the Bulls on Friday night

Orlando Magic 108, Utah Jazz 112  

Lauri Markkanen scored 28 points and blocked Franz Wagner´s 3-pointer in the closing moments to power Utah past Orlando.

Jordan Clarkson, who had 23 points, scored the go-ahead layup, and rookie Walker Kessler made two free throws after rebounding Collin Sexton´s second of two missed free throws with 11.8 seconds to play.

Markkanen switched onto Wagner beyond the 3-point line and blocked the attempt to tie just as the shot left Wagner´s hand.

Wagner, who scored 26 points, matched a career best of five 3-pointers, including an off-balance 28-foot runner to beat the third-quarter buzzer.

Lauri Markkanen came up clutch at both ends of the court in the Utah Jazz’s win over Orlando

Denver Nuggets 115, Los Angeles Clippers 103

Jamal Murray scored 24 points, Michael Porter Jr. added 22 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 115-103 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.

The Nuggets gained sole possession of first in the Western Conference over the idle Memphis Grizzlies despite the absence of Nikola Jokic. He missed the game because of right wrist management.

The Nuggets defeated the Clippers for the second time in a week, although this one was much closer than the 31-point beatdown they handed out at Ball Arena.

At least until the fourth quarter. That’s when the Nuggets pulled away, stretching a three-point lead into double digits. They scored nine in a row to go up 104-92, their largest lead of the game. Aaron Gordon hit a 3-pointer and Bruce Brown added four points. Gordon finished with 17 points.

Jamal Murray (center) was the top-scoring player for the Nuggets as they overcame Clippers

Houston Rockets 114, Sacramento Kings 139 

Domantas Sabonis recorded his fourth triple-double of the season and the Sacramento Kings beat the skidding Houston Rockets 139-114 on Friday night for their third straight win.

Sabonis finished with 19 points, a career-high 16 assists and 15 rebounds as the Kings (23-18) moved five games over .500 for the first time since 2006.

Harrison Barnes scored 27 points and De´Aaron Fox added 24.

With 11:09 left, Malik Monk, Chimezie Metu, Tari Eason and Garrison Matthews were all ejected. Monk and Matthews went face-to-face after a foul was called on Monk during a fast break.

Jalen Green scored 27 points for the Rockets (10-32), who have lost nine consecutive games and 14 of their past 15. Jabari Smith Jr. had 27 points and eight rebounds.

Domantas Sabonis recorded his fourth triple-double of the NBA season against the Rockets

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