In an intense match between the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night, Jalen Brunson and Donovan Mitchell previewed a potential must-watch first-round playoff matchup. The game ended with a 130-116 win in favor of the Knicks, with both teams scoring over 100 points before the fourth quarter.
Despite Knicks’ top scorer Julius Randle being out due to injury and Cavs’ leading rebounder Jarrett Allen also out, both teams got plenty of offense from Brunson and Mitchell. They became the first opposing NBA players since 1997 to score over 20 points in the first quarter of a game.
Brunson’s career-high 48 points and Mitchell’s 42 points marked their personal best performances. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Brunson’s 33 points in the first half were the most by a Knicks player since Carmelo Anthony in 2014.
Poor Defense or Stellar Offense?
It’s still unclear whether the high-scoring match was due to stellar offense or poor defense. The game ended with the teams being only three points apart in the third quarter, with the Knicks leading at 105 and the Cavaliers trailing at 102. However, the Cavaliers began to falter and couldn’t keep up with the Knicks’ pace.
The Playoff Picture
If the regular season ended on Friday night, the Cavaliers (No. 4 in the East) and Knicks (No. 5) would face each other in the first round of the playoffs. NBA fans eagerly anticipate a rematch between the two teams in the postseason, hoping for a repeat of the high-paced scoring, career-best performances, and exciting physical play.
Both teams have four games remaining before the playoffs begin, so there’s still a chance for things to change. Regardless, the intense game between the Knicks and Cavaliers has left NBA fans craving more and potentially setting the stage for a thrilling playoff matchup.
“If the regular season ended tonight, the Cavaliers (No. 4 in the East) and Knicks (No. 5) would face each other in the first round of the playoffs. Based on tonight’s game, NBA fans wouldn’t mind watching that matchup.”