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Jalen Brunson, Barrett 'Bounce Back' Energize Knicks Fans in Win vs. Mitchell, Cavs

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Francisco RosaApril 22, 2023

RJ Barrett

RJ BarrettNathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The whispers of RJ Barrett’s demise were a bit premature.

After struggling mightily in the first two games of the New York Knicks’ playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the fourth-year swingman showed up in a big way as he helped the lead the charge in a pivotal 99-79 Game 3 win for New York.

Barrett finished with 19 points to go along with eight rebounds and three assists on 8-of-12 shooting from the field in front of a rocking crowd at Madison Square Garden that was loving every second of his performance.

It was a Knicks fanbase that was bashing him after he went a combined 6-of-25 from the field over the first two games of the series. But he showed up when the team needed him most on a night in which offense was hard to come by.

Barrett came out aggressive from the jump as he scored 14 of his points in the first half, and the Knicks took a 13-point lead into the locker room.

He cooled down a bit in the second half but was still all over the floor, finding an open teammate or grabbing a key rebound as New York pulled away to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series.

While they were sure to rip Barrett when he wasn’t performing, Knicks fans gave him his flowers on Twitter following the huge win.


RJ Barrett for three and MSG is rockin’!

CLE/NYK Game 3 underway on ABC 🍿

ESPN @espn


Ashley Nicole Moss @AshNicoleMoss

RJ Barrett after hearing the slander:

The Knicks Wall @TheKnicksWall

Game 3 RJ Barrett???

KnicksMuse @KnicksMuse


FM BlueBlood: go knicks @TempoStyx

RJ Barrett is wide awake y’all

Jake Brown @JakeBrownNBA

Are we witnessing THE RJ Barrett playoff game?

Knicks Memes @KnicksMemes

RJ Barrett every time the Knicks fanbase gives up on him

The Knicks Wall @TheKnicksWall


Jay Knicky TKW @JayKnicky

RJ Barrett is back you peasants!

BetMGM 🦁 @BetMGM

RJ Barrett to Donovan Mitchell tonight

Jonathan Macri @JCMacriNBA

Needless to say, RJ Barrett has been the best player on the court in the early going. Won’t be enough crows in the world for me if this keep up.

KFTV Bankai πŸ—‘️ @New_Tape_City

RJ Barrett tonight when the Knicks needed him the most.

BetMGM 🦁 @BetMGM

They’re chanting RJ Barrett’s name at the Garden πŸ‘

In addition to Barrett, Jalen Brunson’s performance was also a welcome sight after the star guard went 5-of-17 from the field in the Game 2 loss in Cleveland.

Brunson finished with a team-high 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting Friday and did a lot of his damage down the stretch as New York put the game out of reach.

He’s done a great job of combating Cleveland’s elite backcourt of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland over the first few games of the series and will continue to be crucial if the Knicks are going to advance.

Brandon Aronowitz @BrandAronowitz

Jalen Brunson is back in God mode!! That man is a special special basketball player

Alex Picks @ARPicks_

Jalen Brunson is different.

TooIz @IzyTooWavy


Super Bowl 52 MVP @vj_v_

Brunson has been playing some amazing basketball this series

Tom Krasniqi @TKras

How did the Dallas Mavericks let Jalen Brunson walk out the door?

Horrendous mistake.

What a blessing for the #Knicks.

. @disgame23

Jalen Brunson is the greatest player I’ve ever seen

Connor Wright @Connor_wright33

Jalen Brunson is absolutely crazy at basketball. He is cooking the whole cavs team.

DANIEL | Growth Minded LeaderπŸ‡³πŸ‡¬πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ @danielawosanya

Brunson is HIM.

The night was so good for the Knicks that Derrick Rose saw a few minutes of action, which had the crowd at MSG going wild late in the fourth quarter.

With the win, New York is just two victories away from its first appearance in the second round of the playoffs in a decade. The last time it made it that far was in 2013, when it was led by Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith.

The Knicks will have a chance to put a chokehold on the series in Game 4 on Sunday. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. ET.

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Jalen Brunson, Barrett 'Bounce Back' Energize Knicks Fans in Win vs. Mitchell, Cavs Reviewed by RP on April 23, 2023 Rating: 5

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