Christmas went from bad to worse for Jalen Brunson late in the New York Knicks’ 119-112 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. He left the game for good with 4:42 left in the fourth quarter and quickly headed to the locker room, dealing with a right hip issue that had been bothering him for most of the second half.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game that he wasn’t sure what the issue was with Brunson, but that team trainers were attending to him, per Fred Katz of The Athletic.
Brunson is enjoying a career year in New York, averaging 20.1 points and 6.4 assists per game after rocking the basketball world by spurning the Dallas Mavericks in free agency. His efficiency has taken a hit due to shoulder more scoring and playmaking responsibilities, a role Brunson sought after sharing the floor with Luka Doncic since the beginning of his career.
Brunson has been a driving force behind the Knicks’ success this season, helping change the culture in Manhattan. New York had won eight straight games before falling to the Toronto Raptors last Wednesday, then lost to the Chicago Bulls by one before collapsing in the fourth quarter against Joel Embiid and the Sixers.
Jalen Brunson was stellar before exiting, dropping 23 points and 11 assists on 10-of-14 shooting. Julius Randle poured in 35 points for New York, but struggled to lift his team during crunch time as the Knicks scored a meager 16 points in the final stanza. Embiid had 35 points and eight rebounds, leading Philadelphia’s late-game charge upon entering midway through the fourth quarter.
The Knicks are now 18-16, sixth in the Eastern Conference.