The Knicks lost a game Sunday at the Garden, and they hope they did not lose something much more important.
Jalen Brunson left the 119-112 loss to the 76ers on Christmas Day with 4:42 to play in the fourth quarter and headed toward the locker room. Brunson, who had appeared to hold his right hip at moments while running up and down the court, returned to the bench in the last minutes but did not reenter the game.
The Knicks declined to make Brunson available to media after the loss, in which he played just 3:24 of the last period, and did not confirm whether it was Brunson’s hip that was bothering him.
Tom Thibodeau said Brunson was “getting looked at now,” after the game. The head coach, who said he was not sure of the nature of the injury, said his point guard suffered it in the fourth quarter and added he did not think Brunson had been dealing with the injury previously.
Without Brunson, who scored 23 points and dished out 11 assists, the Knicks collapsed against the 76ers’ zone.
Brunson, the free-agent prize of the Knicks’ offseason, has been everything they envisioned during a terrific start to the season, in which he is averaging 20.2 points and 6.6 assists. The Knicks, who have lacked a point guard for decades, appear to have finally found their floor general, who has played in all 34 games this season.
Brunson will want to make it 35, with the Knicks next headed to Dallas to face the Mavericks, Brunson’s former team, on a road trip that begins Tuesday.
The 26-year-old has grinded through any injury concerns thus far, which have included suffering a right foot contusion Dec. 11 in a win over the Kings at the Garden. He didn’t practice leading up the Knicks’ next game and was listed as questionable but still played 39 minutes in a win in Chicago.
A quad injury had placed Brunson on the injury report in November, but again he did not miss a game.
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