Knicks’ Jalen Brunson to avoid sprained ankle after scare against Grizzlies, report says

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The New York Knicks beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night, 123-113, for their 10th win in their last 11 games. It wasn’t without a few scares, however, the worst of which came when All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson sprained his ankle late in the fourth quarter and had to leave the game.

Brunson appears to have avoided a serious sprain. He left the field without crutches, according to John Begley.

The Knicks led by as much as 28 and still led by 20 more points early in the fourth quarter. It looked like they were cruising to an easy win until the Grizzlies got a wild comeback that forced Tom Thibodeau to put the Knicks starters back in the game. Just minutes after his return, Brunson was driving to the basket when he slipped and twisted his right ankle.

Brunson immediately left the game and went back to the locker room. He didn’t return, and the Grizzlies eventually cut the deficit down to four points before the Knicks pulled ahead. After the game, everyone cared about Brunson’s status, given how important he was to the team.

Thibodeau did not provide much information, saying only that Brunson was being evaluated by the team’s medical staff. Donte DiVincenzo, however, provided a positive update.

“Playing with him for so long, I said, ‘Are you good?’ and he’s like, ‘I’m good,’ and I didn’t ask for anything after that,” said DiVincenzo, who finished with 32 points, five rebounds, and five assists. “No worries me about Jalen. He is one of the toughest guys in the league. I don’t care.”

Begley’s report and DiVincenzo’s comments make New York City breathe a sigh of relief. It remains to be seen how long, if at all, Brunson could be sidelined, but all indications are that he should be back sooner rather than later.

That is good news for a Knicks team that has surrendered for third place in the Eastern Conference at 33-18, and is already dealing with several injuries. Julius Randle (shoulder), OG Anunoby (elbow), and Quentin Grimes (knee) were all out Tuesday, as well as big man Mitchell Robinson, who underwent ankle surgery back in December.

Brunson, who was recently named to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career, has carried the Knicks all season. His 27.3 points and 6.5 assists per game are both career highs, and he is shooting 41.3% from 3-point land.

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