East Notes: Knicks, Jalen Brunson, Celtics, Kristaps Porzingis, Pistons


The Knicks kept their hopes for the No. 2 seed in the NBA East alive with a big road win over the Celtics on Thursday night.Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks, NBA

New York is now just a game back of the Bucks for the second seed and each team has two games remaining. In order for the Knicks to pass Milwaukee, though, they will need to win both and the Bucks will have to lose both.

Still, they went into Boston and got a big one. Point guard Jalen Brunson led the way with 39 points.

“We made shots and made the right plays,” Brunson told reporters. “Obviously, we know they’re the top dog in the East. Whenever you play against them, it’s always a good measuring stick to see where you’re at. We played pretty well, but we know what they’re capable of doing. We just had their number tonight.”

  • Meanwhile, forward OG Anunoby scored 12 in his first game against the Celtics since being acquired in a December trade. “We got stops, got out and scored and JB was getting in the paint and doing his thing,” Anuoby said. “We all do it together.”


Losing to the Knicks at home is not exactly how the top-seeded Celtics wanted as a tuneup for the playoffs, forward Kristaps Porzingis said.

It marked Boston’s second straight loss.

“It stings to have this loss, but maybe we need this before heading into the postseason with a killer mentality,” he said. “It’s not who we are. This is not the team our fans love. That wasn’t on display. You best believe we’ll show up when we have to. We know what the goal is and make no mistake about it.”

  • The Celtics were also outscored in second-chance points, 22-12. “We got out-toughed the last two games and haven’t played to our standard,” guard/forward Jaylen Brown said. “The game has shifted and it’s going to shift even more in the playoffs.”


The Pistons set the franchise mark for losses in falling to the visiting Bulls on Thursday — and now sit at 13-67 on the season. Detroit broke the mark set by the 1979-80 team.

“You can learn a lot about players at this time of year,” coach Monty Williams said. “I know, for myself, I earned a lot of money (as an NBA player) playing down the stretch and hanging in there.”

The Pistons are now also destined to finish with the worst record in the NBA. They are two back of the Wizards (15-65), each with two games remaining.

  • Detroit allowed 34 points off turnovers. “We made 14 threes and they made 14 threes,” Williams said. “They just had so many more opportunities — they played in transition almost the whole night because of our turnovers. That’s something I haven’t been able to help our guys with — playing in crowds and playing in passing lanes.”

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