NEW YORK (AP)Jalen Brunson scored 27 points, hitting the go-ahead basket in overtime, and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Hornets 134-131 on Wednesday night.
Brunson also had 13 assists and seven rebounds. RJ Barrett scored 22 points, and Julius Randle had 17 for New York, at 3-1 off to its best start in 10 years.
Gordon Hayward led Charlotte with 21 points. PJ Washington, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Jalen McDaniels each had 17.
Brunson’s 3-pointer with 3:14 left in overtime gave the Knicks the lead for good – at 124-122.
”We kept fighting,” Brunson said. ”We found a way to win this game. We stayed poised and kept finding plays to make at the end of the game.”
The Hornets pulled to 132-131 on Washington’s long jumper with five seconds left, and Barrett hit two free throws with three seconds remaining for the final margin.
”When you’re a primary scorer, you want to be able to step to the line and hit those two free throws in that situation,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. ”He shot them with a lot of confidence.”
The Knicks led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, with Randle’s layup at 2:56 putting New York ahead 91-79.
The Hornets took a five-point lead, 120-115, with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
”We had the lead there late in the fourth,” Hayward said. ”We didn’t defend the way we should have, could have. That’s what’s disappointing. They hit shots down the stretch and we didn’t.”
Hornets: Terry Rozier, Charlotte’s leading scorer, missed his second straight game because of a right ankle sprain.
Knicks: New York exercised its four-year team options on Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin, and its third-year team option on Quentin Grimes. Grimes has yet to see action this season due to a left foot injury.
IT’S BEEN A WHILE
The Knicks have won their first three home games this season. New York had not won two straight to begin a campaign since the 2012-13 campaign. That season, they reeled off victories in their first 10 home contests.
Hornets: At Orlando on Friday night.
Knicks: At Milwaukee on Friday night.
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