BOSTON — The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics were both missing key starters for Sunday night’s Atlantic Division showdown when Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (sore left foot) and Celtics center Robert Williams III (left Achilles tendon) were out.
With Brunson out, Immanuel Quickley got the start and took the opportunity by notching a career-high 38 points in 55 minutes to help New York to a 131-129 win in double overtime. The Knicks have now won nine straight wins, their second-longest winning streak in the last 25 seasons, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
Quickley had seven points in the second overtime and added eight rebounds and seven assists.
Thibodeau wasn’t sure if Brunson would need further testing, just saying he’s day-to-day.
“You’re looking at it,” Thibodeau said, referring to New York medical staff. “I don’t think it’s anything serious. He just woke up in pain. So we want to make sure he’s okay.”
According to Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, Brunson woke up with a pain in his foot and will be reevaluated Monday.
“Only the next guy comes in there,” Thibodeau said when asked how the Knicks would do without their star point guard. “I love our depth. The thing you’re weighing is do you want to disrupt what you’ve got going with your second unit?”
As for Williams, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said the team’s starting center will be sidelined for the next seven to 10 days after grabbing his left hamstring midway through the third quarter of Friday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets, a game in which Boston was led by up to 10 28 points in the first half.
Williams has played in just 28 games after missing the first two months of the season after undergoing knee surgery just before training camp.
“He did well in his rehab and came back and worked through stuff,” Mazzulla said. “So there’s no way we’re going to rush him. But if he’s healthy we need him and we want to play him. So when he comes back we will be ready.”
Williams, sitting outside, will continue a seasonal trend for Boston of not having the expected starting lineup available. In its first 65 games, including Sunday night’s matchup against New York, Boston had its core starting group — Williams, Al Horford, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum — available for just 10 of them.
In addition to Williams, Boston had to do without guard Malcolm Brogdon for the second straight game because of right ankle pain.