Immanuel Quickley’s magic runs out, Jalen Brunson sits again
Starting point guard Jalen Brunson missed his second straight game for the Knicks on Tuesday night with a sore left foot, but Immanuel Quickley couldn’t put up another starring lead.
Quickley, who played 55 minutes and scored 38 points in Sunday’s Boston double win, scored just 14 on 5-for-16 shooting in Tuesday’s 112-105 streak-busting loss to the Hornets at the Garden.
“Obviously we had a double overtime game but I need to play better than that,” said Quickley. “But we’ll learn from it, I’m sure. Watch the movie, see how we get better and move on to the next game against [Sacramento on Thursday].
“I’m fine. Isn’t an excuse. I just need to find ways to win the game. We did it in Boston. So we just have to do it every night if we can.
Tom Thibodeau said Brunson was “much better today” but “not ready” to return to the lineup. He added that Brunson is expected to join the Knicks on their four-game western journey.
Asked if the $104 million point guard would be playable if Tuesday’s game was a playoff game, Thibodeau replied, “I’ll leave that to the medical staff and the player. For me, I know he will play if he can play and if the medical people and him feel he needs another day, we’ll give him that day. We like our depth. The next guy, go in and settle it.
Obi Toppin hit a key 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter, but he finished 1-for-4 from long range and has been caught in a 7-for-39 shooting slump from outside the arc in his past 13 appearances.
“Only if you’re open, shoot it,” Thibodeau said. “I think he had great drive in the Boston game on a closeout. So just read the game, the game will tell you what to do.
“I think we’re also shooting a really good percentage of three out of the last 10. I think everyone shares that responsibility, it doesn’t necessarily have to be one man.”
LaMelo Ball (ankle) and Cody Martin (knee) were out for the Hornets.