Jalen Brunson likely to play vs. Suns despite recent shoulder pain

Jalen Brunson likely to play vs. Suns despite recent shoulder pain

Tom Thibodeau was not surprised that Jalen Brunson was a full participant in practice Saturday, one day after the Knicks’ starting point guard played though shoulder pain in the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ thrilling comeback win over the Heat.

Brunson is officially listed as probable for Sunday’s home game against the Suns.

“I don’t know what medical will say, but he went through practice, he did his shooting, did his whole routine,” Thibodeau said earlier Saturday. “So unless something flares up, I anticipate him being ready,”

Brunson winced in pain after getting hit on his non-shooting shoulder by Bam Adebayo with 2:56 remaining, but he stayed in the game to help the Knicks complete a comeback from a 21-point deficit.

“It’s not only his physical toughness, it’s probably more his mental toughness,” Thibodeau said. “He never takes days off. He goes, and we’re fortunate in that regard. … It’s been part of his makeup his whole life.”


Jalen Brunson battles Haywood Highsmith for the ball during the Knicks' 100-98 win over the Heat.
Jalen Brunson battles Haywood Highsmith for the ball during the Knicks’ 100-98 win over the Heat.
Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

Suns forward Kevin Durant’s availability is less clear after the 13-time All-Star missed Friday’s win in Memphis with foot soreness.

Durant practiced Saturday in New York and is officially listed as questionable. Fellow former Net Yuta Watanabe (quad) also is listed as questionable.

Imported guard Bradley Beal remains sidelined with a back injury but Durant is averaging 31.6 points and Devin Booker is right behind him (29.6) for the Suns, who have won their last six games.

“They’re loaded. And the shooting that they have around them puts a lot of pressure on you at all times so we’re gonna have to be at our best,” Thibodeau said.

“As you know with Durant and Booker, you can defend them great, but they’re shot-makers. … With guys like that, you just want to try to make them work as hard as you can.

“I think that when you have that type of player with the talent that they have, it commands more than one person guarding them. The team has to share in that responsibility.”

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