Jalen Brunson Gives 5-Word Answer for Late Turnover in Knicks’ Game 5 Loss

Fatigue, missed free throws, and late turnovers will be the story of the New York Knicks‘ Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in overtime. Jalen Brunson had his fair share of all three.

Tyrese Maxey gave the 76ers a chance to win Game 5 in overtime with a tying three-pointer in the fourth quarter.

They did. In large part thanks to Brunson, who both missed a free throw and committed a crucial turnover in overtime.

As great as Brunson has been for the Knicks tonight, this turnover was critical after a careless turnover by Philly. pic.twitter.com/WXd3A9lNrM

— Alaa Alarashi (@AlaaAlarashi) May 1, 2024

Brunson took full accountability postgame, telling reporters it was a lack of judgement.

“Not good judgement on my part,” he told SNY. “A careless turnover in overtime. Just making sure we’re all on the same page at the end of regulation. Hats off to them. They kept fighting and they played the full amount of 53 minutes.”

Head coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed that the All-Star was looking for a stationary Isaiah Hartenstein on the pass, not the center cutting.

“I believe it was Isaiah in the corner who was cutting,” Thibodeau told SNY. “And [Jalen] thought he was spotting, so.”

After the turnover, Philadelphia outscored New York 9-4 to close out overtime and win Game 5.

Brunson finished with 40 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. And notably, just three total minutes of rest.

Now the Knicks will head back on the road for Game 6, up 3-2, but on the wrong side of the series’ momentum swing.

Brunson Not Only Culprit in Knicks’ Heartbreaker

Superstars are often the most criticized after heartbreaking losses like the New York Knicks’ Game 5.

But regardless of his overtime shortcomings, Jalen Brunson is far from the only responsible party for the team’s collapse.

They all took credit for their part in the loss.

Take center Mitchell Robinson for example, who fouled Maxey on a made three-pointer, resulting in a four-point play.

“Just take it like a man. I (expletive) up,” Robinson told SNY on April 30. “(Expletive), just got to be better next game.”

Or starting forward Josh Hart, who missed one of two free throws that could have put New York up four instead of three.

“I know what the situation is, and I gotta take it on the chin,” Hart told The Athletic. “It won’t happen again.”

His missed free throw was countered by a made Maxey three, which served as the catalyst for the overtime loss.

There’s also coach Thibodeau, who, by his own design or lack of team preparation, didn’t have the Knicks foul up three in the fourth quarter.

“Well, we could have,” Thibodeau told WFUV Sports. “We’ll leave it at that.”

A miscommunication seems the likely explanation for such a clear-cut, late-game blunder.

All parties will have to put Game 5 in the rearview and move on, heading into Game 6. They’re still favored in the series after all.

History Still Favors the Knicks

According to Land of Basketball, of the 281 teams to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA playoffs, only 13 have given it up and lost the series.

Land of Basketball says 78 of the winning teams went on to do so in Game 6.

Of the 35 series to go to Game 7, 22 won after originally taking the 3-1 lead.

Game 6 will take place on Philadelphia’s home floor at the Wells Fargo Center, where the 76ers boasted a 25-16 record in the regular season.

New York has shown they can win in the hostile environment with their Game 4 win.

Even with the heartbreaking Game 5 loss, you’d be hard pressed to find a Knicks fan that isn’t cautiously optimistic on the series outlook.

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