Brunson becomes fourth Knicks player with consecutive 40-point games, leads New York past Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 42 points, becoming the fourth player in franchise history with 40 or more in consecutive games, and the New York Knicks beat the Sacramento Kings 98-91 on Saturday night.

Brunson had 45 points in Thursday's win at Portland. He has seven 40-point games this season, when he was a first-time All-Star.

“You almost come to expect what Jalen did,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “It’s every night and it’s big play after big play. Every time you need a big bucket, he comes up with it.”

Brunson is the first Knicks player to reach 40 in back-to-back games since Carmelo Anthony on Feb. 19 and 21, 2014. Hall of Famers Bernard King and Patrick Ewing are the other Knicks to do it.

“I don’t have the resume those guys do, so it means a lot,” Brunson said. “But I’m just happy we found a way to win.”

Donte DiVincenzo scored 15 points and Josh Hart had nine points and 12 rebounds. Isaiah Hartenstein was a force on the defensive end, blocking five shots and grabbing 14 rebounds, along with seven points.

“It was a good team win,” Thibodeau said. “I thought the defense was really good. They’re a gifted offensive team.”

Domantas Sabonis led the Kings with 21 points and 14 rebounds for his 49th consecutive double-double.

De’Aaron Fox added 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, but was held to 5-for-19 shooting. Malik Monk scored 18 off the bench.

“I feel like we got good looks,” Fox said. “I feel like a lot of it (was) we just didn’t make shots. But that’s a good defensive team that you have to be able to capitalize on any of their mistakes, and I don’t think we did a good job of that tonight.”

The Kings’ 91 points were their fewest in a home game this season. Sacramento fell to 0-8 when scoring fewer than 100 points, as New York held its fifth straight opponent under that number.

“They’re a great team, explosive on offense and Mike (Brown) has done a great job coaching them here,” Brunson said. “They present a lot of problems on that side of the ball and we were able to keep them under 100 points, which is not easy to do. Like I said, we found a way.”

It was the Kings’ first loss when allowing fewer than 100 points, dropping to 6-1.

The game featured 20 lead changes and 13 ties.

The Knicks led 53-48 at the half and extended the advantage to nine early in the third quarter on a pair of layups by Brunson.

Sacramento responded with a 15-4 run to go up 63-61, but New York took a 75-74 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Knicks outscored the Kings 23-17 in the final period.

UP NEXT

Knicks: At Golden State on Monday night.

Kings: Host Memphis on Monday night.

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