Jalen Brunson’s 45 points not enough as Knicks fall to Bucks led by Damian Lillard

Jalen Brunson’s spectacular 45-point performance wasn’t enough to secure a victory for the New York Knicks as Damian Lillard’s timely heroics guided the Milwaukee Bucks to a hard-fought 110-105 win in the opening game of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament.

Lillard’s crucial 3-pointer with 1:03 remaining proved to be the decisive moment, propelling the Bucks to a thrilling triumph over a resilient Knicks side that showcased Brunson’s offensive prowess.

Despite Brunson’s relentless offensive onslaught, the Knicks were unable to contain the dynamic duo of Lillard and Brook Lopez, whose exceptional defensive display, including eight crucial blocks, stifled New York’s offensive rhythm throughout the game.

Lopez’s resurgence in defensive form, coupled with Lillard’s clutch scoring down the stretch, proved instrumental in the Bucks’ hard-earned victory.

Amidst the thrilling back-and-forth battle, the Knicks’ resilient efforts, led by Brunson’s offensive brilliance, propelled them to a late-game surge, erasing a sizable deficit and briefly taking the lead.

Brunson’s remarkable scoring display, predominantly fueled by his remarkable proficiency inside the arc and flawless free-throw shooting, illustrated his impact as a key offensive catalyst for the Knicks.

In a game marked by compelling narratives and standout individual performances, Lillard’s ability to rise to the occasion in critical moments, combined with Lopez’s defensive dominance, underscored the Bucks’ resilience and determination to secure a statement victory in the early stages of the NBA In-Season Tournament.