CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Jalen Brunson scored 32 points as the New York Knicks extended their winning streak to three games with a 122-108 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.
Brunson scored 26 points in the opening half for the Knicks, who built a 15-point lead by the intermission on the way to their sixth win in seven games.
“I think we’re on our way,” Brunson said. “There’s still a lot of work to do. We’re 13 games in. We’re in a good stretch and we’ve just got to build off of it.”
Donte DiVincenzo added a career-high 25 points, Julius Randle scored 21 points, R.J. Barrett finished with 15 points and Mitchell Robinson had a game-high 14 rebounds for New York. Barrett had missed the previous three games with migraine headaches.
🗣️LETS GO KNICKS
JB 32 PTS | 8 AST | 3 REB
Donte 25 PTS | 7 3PM | 3 STL
JU 21 PTS | 7 AST | 6 REB
RJ 15 PTS | 3 AST | 3 REB
Mitch 4 PTS | 14 REB | 4 BLK pic.twitter.com/2b95IG8cK0
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 19, 2023
LaMelo Ball led all scorers with 34 points for Charlotte, which lost its fourth straight game. Rookie Brandon Miller had a career-high 29 points and Miles Bridges 19.
New York didn’t trail at any time during the current weekend two-game sweep that includes Friday’s 120-99 at Washington.
“I don’t get wrapped up in six of seven or however many in a row or whatever that might be because each game is different,” New York head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “You have to put in the work to win that game. So to lock in to that particular game is the most important thing so we can build the right habits.
”(But) the wins are important and hopefully we’re learning.”
After leading 30-19 after the first quarter, New York took a game-high 15-point lead three times in the second quarter — the last at 47-32 — before Charlotte whittled the lead to single digits.
Ball hit two 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter that pulled the Hornets within 94-88 with 9:37 left. New York countered with a 15-6 run over the next 5 1/2 minutes, led by Barrett and DiVincenzo, that quelled any hopes Charlotte had of a comeback.
“I think the root of this game was just getting back on defense,” Miller said. “I think we kind of struggled maintaining our man in transition. I think that’s just an effort thing with us, something we’ve got to clean up going into the game against Boston.”
Baron Davis, a player who played for both teams during a 13-year career, was honored at halftime as a “Hornets Legend,” part of Charlotte’s 35-year anniversary of NBA basketball.
A first-round pick of Charlotte in 1999, Davis was a two-time NBA All-Star during his six-year career with the Hornets/New Orleans Pelicans; Charlotte moved to New Orleans after the 2001-02 season. Davis later played for the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Knicks.
Knicks: At Minnesota on Monday.
Hornets: Host Boston on Monday