NBA

Brunson and the Knicks' bench ignite home win, Raptors complete comeback in Memphis

By Sports Desk February 05, 2023

The New York Knicks stormed home with a 32-18 final period to defeat the visiting Philadelphia 76ers 108-97 on Sunday,

The Knicks were on the second night of a back-to-back, coming off a disappointing overtime loss at home against the Los Angeles Clippers, but they steadied the ship to avoid a fourth loss from their past five.

Point guard Jalen Brunson finished with 21 points on six-of-16 shooting with seven assists and five rebounds, while All-Star team-mate Julius Randle posted 24 points (eight-of-19), nine rebounds and seven assists.

They were solid, but inefficient, shooting a combined 40 per cent from the field while both finished with a plus/minus figure in the negatives.

What won the game for the Knicks was their production off the bench. Evan Fournier scored a season-high 17 points (six-of-11), Deuce McBride added 14 points (three-of-eight), and the pair combined to shoot eight-of-14 from long range, while both posting a plus/minus of plus 28 or better.

Backup center Isaiah Hartenstein was similarly impactful, snatching an equal season-high 14 rebounds in his fourth consecutive appearance with at least 10 boards.

MVP candidate Joel Embiid was respectable for the 76ers, finishing six-of-16 from the field, but he still produced 31 points and 14 rebounds after shooting 18-of-19 from the free throw line.

With the win, the Knicks improved their record to 29-26, and they now sit just a half-game back from the six seed in the Eastern Conference.

Balanced Raptors overcome Morant-less Grizzlies

With Ja Morant out injured, the Memphis Grizzlies were unable to protect their lead down the stretch, going down 106-103 at home against the Toronto Raptors.

The Grizzlies led by 15 points late in the third quarter, before the Raptors closed the show on a 40-22 run.

Seven of the eight Raptors to play finished with between 10 and 19 points, with Pascal Siakam's 19 points on seven-of-17 shooting leading the scoring, while Scottie Barnes was a menace defensively as he had two steals and two blocks to go with his 16 points and seven rebounds.

Desmond Bane (26 points and four steals) and Jaren Jackson Jr (18 points and four blocks) were the bright spots for the Grizzlies, who at 32-21 are now four-and-a-half games behind the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets.

Cavs starters light up the Pacers

The Cleveland Cavaliers' starting-five shot a blistering 58.7 per cent from the field as they blew out the Indiana Pacers 122-103 on the road.

Donovan Mitchell had 19 points on six-of-18 shooting, but he was the only Cleveland starter to hit less than half his shots as Darius Garland (eight-of-13), Evan Mobley (seven-of-12), Jarrett Allen (nine-of-11) and Isaac Okoro (seven-of-nine) combined to shoot 68.8 per cent.

Newly extended Pacers center Myles Turner had strong production in the losing effort, finishing with 27 points (nine-of-18), 10 rebounds and three blocks.

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