Knicks All-Star Jalen Brunson suffers bruised knee vs. Cavs

CLEVELAND — Knicks All-Star guard Jalen Brunson had to be helped off the floor Sunday because of a left knee injury — a potentially devastating setback for New York — in the first minute of a 107-98 win over the Cavaliers.

However, it appeared to be just a scare. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game that Brunson has a knee contusion and X-rays were negative.

“He bumped knees,” a relaxed Thibodeau said. “That’s what happened. He got the X-rays, was examined by the doctor. Everything was negative. We’ll see where he is tomorrow.”

Brunson, who averages 27.2 points and had been carrying the Knicks during a rash of key injuries, was hurt on New York’s first possession.

Coming off a screen, Brunson rose for a jump shot near the foul line when he appeared to feel pain on liftoff. He shot an air ball and landed before stumbling and dropping to the floor near the 3-point line.

Brunson stayed seated while play continued before getting up and limping to the sideline, where he again went down in obvious pain. The 27-year-old was helped to his feet and escorted to the locker room.

It wasn’t immediately clear when Brunson got hurt. While he was not touched by Cleveland’s Isaac Okoro on the jumper, replays showed Brunson bumped knees with Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein early in the possession.

“You don’t want to see anyone go down like that. He’s one of the toughest guys in the league,” Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo said about Brunson. “I know he’ll be ready to go.”

Brunson did not return to the bench and was not seen after the game. The Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

An elite scorer, Brunson has been carrying the Knicks, who are without starters forward Julius Randle (shoulder), center Mitchell Robinson (ankle) and guard OG Anunoby (elbow) because of injuries. All three made the trip and are getting close to returning.

Brunson is in his second season with the Knicks, who signed him to a four-year, $104 million contract as a free agent in 2022. Brunson spent his first four NBA seasons with the Dallas Mavericks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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