The New York Knicks have now won six of their past seven games after Jalen Brunson excelled in a 112-108 victory against the Washington Wizards on Friday.
Brunson, who is averaging career-highs in points (21.9) and assists (6.4) since signing with the Knicks in the offseason, was once again his side's best player.
He scored a team-high 34 points on 12-of-24 shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists, continuing the red-hot form that has seen him average 33.2 points, 5.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds on 52 per cent shooting since the new year began.
Another player in scintillating form since the start of January is Knicks forward Julius Randle, and he is now averaging 24.8 points and 14.4 rebounds this month after putting up 23 points (eight-of-19 shooting) and 16 rebounds.
The Knicks overcame a terrific performance from Wizards wing Kyle Kuzma, who scored a season-high 40 points on 14-of-27 shooting with seven rebounds and seven assists.
New York are now 24-19, and sit sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Whatever it takes to get the dub— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 14, 2023
JB 34 PTS | 8 REB | 8 AST
JU 23 PTS | 16 REB
QUICK 18 PTS | 4 REB
RJ 17 PTS | 5 REB pic.twitter.com/6cTBNJKjdR
No Jokic, no problem for the Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets showed they can survive without reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic as they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 115-103.
It was just the third contest Jokic has missed out of 41 total opportunities, but while on the sidelines nursing a wrist injury he watched Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr pick up the slack.
Murray scored a team-high 24 points on eight-of-17 shooting with eight rebounds and four assists, while Porter had 22 points (nine-of-17) with four rebounds and three assists.
The highlight of the game came courtesy of Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, who dunked on the head of Zeke Nnaji on his way to 24 points (10-of-21) and nine rebounds.
OH MY GOODNESS KAWHI LEONARD POSTER ON ESPN pic.twitter.com/Q8JRfFN3kq— NBA (@NBA) January 14, 2023
Hawks bigs deliver the win
Despite having two All-Stars in their backcourt, the Atlanta Hawks frontcourt came to the rescue in a 113-111 triumph over the Indiana Pacers.
Third-year center Onyeka Okongwu was tremendous with 18 points (nine-of-12 shooting), a career-high 20 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals.
His interior partner, John Collins, was less impactful for the first three quarters, and while he only finished with seven points, he scored the game-winning tip-in with less than a second remaining on the clock.
JOHN COLLINS TIP IN FOR THE WIN pic.twitter.com/lZ9EC3U47s— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 14, 2023