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Knicks' Jalen Brunson Defends Tom Thibodeau After Blowout Loss to Luka Doncic, Mavs

Erin WalshDecember 4, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 03: Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks in action against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden on December 03, 2022 in New York City NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Dallas Mavericks defeated the New York Knicks 121-100. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The New York Knicks fell to the Dallas Mavericks 121-100 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden to drop to 10-13 on the season, and while head coach Tom Thibodeau has been receiving plenty of criticism, Jalen Brunson was quick to defend him.

"I know he's going to get a lot of the blame. It's on us. We're the players out there battling. His job is to put us in positions, which he's done," Brunson said while meeting with the media after the loss, per SNY.

After trailing by 15 points in the second quarter, the Mavericks bounced back with a brilliant second-half performance to hand the Knicks their fourth straight loss at home, which has seemingly become a house of horrors for Thibodeau's squad.

The Knicks were outscored by the Mavs 41-15 in the third quarter. At one point, Dallas went on a 29-5 run, so Thibodeau called multiple timeouts to try and slow their progress, but it didn't work as New York entered the fourth quarter down by 19 points.

With the game seemingly over early in the fourth quarter, Thibodeau opted to empty his bench to give his starters some rest before Sunday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Brunson finished with just 13 points, two rebounds and three assists, while R.J. Barrett finished with 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal. Additionally, Julius Randle finished the game with 24 points—with only three points coming after halftime—five rebounds and three assists.

It was a disappointing offensive performance from the Knicks, conceding 19 turnovers and grabbing just seven offensive rebounds. For comparison, the Mavericks had double the amount of offensive rebounds as the Knicks failed to control the glass.

The Knicks are now 4-6 in their last 10 games and are a disappointing 4-7 at home this season. If they're going to turn things around, it's going to have to start with getting better at home.