Starting 5 Daily Newsletter

Starting 5, April 12: Jalen Brunson, Knicks knock off Boston

The Knicks soar, Golden State pulls into 3-way tie in West Play-In and a 15-game slate awaits on Friday.

Starting 5Jalen Brunson and the Knicks just pulled off something no other East team has done all year.

Win in Boston.

Let’s catch you up on Brunson’s latest brilliant moment and everything else from Thursday night.

Including a 3-way tie in the West Play-In.


What’s inside today’s edition? 

Brunson stays hot: Jalen Brunson’s 5th straight 35+ point game helps NY win in Boston

Pelicans sweep Kings: NOLA pulls off the rare 5-game season sweep of Sacramento

Playoff Picture: A 3-way tie in the West Play-In between the Kings, Warriors & Lakers

Honoring AI: Philly will unveil Allen Iverson’s sculpture before the Sixers go for their 7th straight W

NBA x Jesser Stream: Jesser joins the Starting 5 with 5 things to watch during tonight’s alternate broadcast for NOP-GSW


Last night’s scores & what to watch today.

League Pass free preview: With every team in action tonight, keep up on all 15 games with a free preview of League Pass on the NBA App

NBA TV Doubleheader: The Thunder host the Bucks (8 ET) with both teams looking to secure their Playoff position … followed by the Kings and Suns (10:30 ET) meeting for the 5th time this season

NBA x Jesser stream: Content creator Jesser is on the call for an alternate stream of Pelicans-Warriors (10 ET, League Pass)


Brunson shines in Boston: The Knicks became the first Eastern Conference team to beat the Celtics at TD Garden this season as Jalen Brunson scored a game-high 39 points with six 3s to lead New York to a 118-109 win, keeping their hopes of the No. 2 seed alive. | Recap

  • He’s on fire: Brunson posted his fifth straight game with 35+ points, joining Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid for the longest streak of the season
  • His last 5 games: 39.4 ppg, 8.4 apg and 3.6 3pg while shooting 54.3% FG, 46.2% 3P
  • Another 30: Brunson scored 30+ points for the 34th time this season, third-most in Knicks history behind Patrick Ewing and Richie Guerin — who had 36 games each in 1989-90 and 1961-62, respectively
  • 🗣️ Brunson on the Celtics: “Whenever you play against them, it’s always a good measuring stick to see where you’re at. We played pretty well, but we know what they’re capable of doing. We just had their number tonight.”
  • 🗣️ Jaylen Brown: “We got out-toughed the last two games and haven’t played to our standard. The game has shifted and it’s going to shift even more in the playoffs.”
  • Must-See: OG defense led to OG offense with the steal and slam … Al Horford broke out the crossover then found Jayson Tatum for the transition dunk … Brown went spin cycle for the and-1

Jazz end 13-game slide: Luka Samanic (season-high 22 pts) and Keyonte George (20 pts) led seven Jazz in double figures as Utah overcame Fred VanVleet’s season-high 42 points and nine 3s to beat the Rockets 124-121. | Recap | Watch the final 5:11


The New Orleans Pelicans sweep the season series against the Sacramento Kings in a matchup with severe playoff implications.

Pels sweep Kings: CJ McCollum and Zion Williamson each scored 31 points to lead the Pelicans to a 135-123 win in Sacramento to sweep a five-game season series with the Kings and tighten their grasp on the No. 6 seed in the West.

De’Aaron Fox had 33 for the Kings, who have lost four of their last five. | Recap

Warriors stay Hot: Steph Curry (22 pts, 8 ast, 5 3s) led the Warriors to their 3rd straight win and 9th in their last 10 games. Jonathan Kuminga added 19 for Golden State in a 100-92 win over Portland, while Deandre Ayton (25 pts, 11 reb) and Scoot Henderson (18 pts, 12 ast) led the Blazers. | Recap

  • Steph for 3 x 350: Curry reached 350 3s made for the 3rd time in his career, giving him three of the four such seasons in NBA history (James Harden has the other). This is the 1st such season since 2018-19
  • Must-see: Curry gets the old-fashioned 3-point play, hitting the off-balance and-1 floater … Scoot goes coast-to-coast for the tough and-1 layup … Podziemski finds Kuminga for the slam in slow-mo

DeMar DeRozan heats up for 39 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds to lead the Bulls in their win over the Pistons, 127-105.

Bulls clinch home-court: DeMar DeRozan (39 pts, 7 ast, 3 stl, 4 3s) and Nikola Vucevic (27 pts, 11 reb) combined for 66 points to lead the Bulls to a 127-105 win over Detroit to lock up the 9th seed in the Play-In. Jalen Duren and Marcus Sasser each scored 20 for Detroit. | Recap

🗣️ Bulls coach Billy Donovan: “I’m happy for these guys. This season got off to a rough start for us, and I really appreciate the guys in our locker room sticking together and fighting. They never quit and never made excuses.”


↔️ 6. New Orleans: Remains 6th, 1.0 game up on (7) Phoenix for the final guaranteed playoff spot

↔️ ☑️ 8. Sacramento: Remains 8th, locked into the Play-In (joining Warriors and Lakers)

⬆️ 9. Golden State: Rises to 9th

⬇️ 10. L.A. Lakers: Drop to 10th

The Kings, Warriors and Lakers are tied at 45-35, which leads to a multi-team tiebreaker. Since none of the teams lead the Pacific Division (that is the Clippers), the next tiebreaker is better winning percentage in games against each other.

  • Kings: 6-2 (4-0 vs. LAL, 2-2 vs. GSW)
  • Warriors: 5-3 (3-1 vs. LAL, 2-2 vs. SAC)
  • Lakers: 1-7 (1-3 vs. GSW, 0-4 vs SAC)

↔️ 3. New York: The Knicks remain 3rd, 1.0 GB of (2) Milwaukee and 1.0 game up on (4) Cleveland

☑️ 9. Chicago: The Bulls clinch the No. 9 spot in the Play-In and will host the No. 9 vs. No. 10 game against Atlanta

☑️ 10. Atlanta: The Hawks are locked into No. 10 with Chicago’s win

Check out the updated bracket to see the matchups if the postseason started today.



Before the Sixers go for their seventh straight win, Philadelphia will honor one of the greatest guards in NBA history, unveiling a sculpture of Allen Iverson along 76ers Legends Walk at the team’s practice facility this afternoon.

  • The Answer was an 11-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, named league MVP in 2001, entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and was named to the NBA’s 75th anniversary team in 2021
  • Philly’s Greatest: Iverson’s sculpture will join fellow 76ers legends Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Maurice Cheeks, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Hal Greer, Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, and Dolph Schayes
  • Video Vault: We can’t talk about AI without diving into some of his greatest moments: Top 10 career plays with 76ers2001 MVP highlights … and Rookie year highlights

As Philly celebrates an iconic guard, they have a star guard in the making in Tyrese Maxey. As part of a breakout season, Maxey posted his third 50+ point game to join Iverson, Joel Embiid and Wilt Chamberlain as the only Sixers with 3+ games with 50+ points in a season.

Sixers single season leaders in 50+ point games

  • 5: Chamberlain (1965-66)
  • 4: Chamberlain (1967-68)
  • 3: Iverson (2004-05)
  • 3: Embiid (2023-24 and 2022-23)
  • 3: Maxey (2023-24)

🗣️ Maxey: “Man, that’s a hell of a list. I’m honored to have my name anywhere close to those three great basketball players.”

His latest 50+ game came on Sunday in a 2OT win over the Spurs as Maxey scored a career-high 52 points while playing a career-high 54 minutes. After the game Maxey spoke about the importance of that win to keep Philly’s chances of securing a guaranteed playoff spot alive.

  • 🗣️ Maxey: “I just didn’t want to let us lose. I just wanted to do whatever I could, exert all my energy, and I could live with the result after that. No matter how tired, no matter how sore, I just wanted to go out there and try to help us win.”

Philly fans can appreciate that attitude. And it rings familiar. They saw it from Iverson for years.


You might know content creator Jesser from YouTube or the 2023 Ruffles Celebrity Game, but now… he’s taking over Pelicans-Warriors in the NBA x Jesser alternate stream (10 ET, NBA App).

He spoke with The Starting 5 about the five things he’s keeping an eye on in tonight’s game.

Editor’s Note: Interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

  • No. 1: Playoff Implications: I would say the number one thing I’m most excited about is just seeing how this affects the playoff race. Where all the different teams are gonna end up between the Pelicans and the Warriors and how this result will affect the rest of the Western Conference is super interesting to me.
  • No. 2: Draymond vs. Zion Matchup: That’s always a good one. They’re both undersized bigs, so just seeing who’s gonna come out on top is something I’m watching.
  • No. 3: Klay’s Performance: Another thing that I’m watching is how Klay Thompson plays. Whenever he pops off, the Warriors usually win. It will definitely be an interesting thing to see how he does.
  • No. 4: Warriors Rookies: I want to see how the Warriors rookies deal, if they’ll come through for them. That’ll be really fun to watch out for this game.
  • No. 5 Inside Scoop: If you’re a fan of my videos, there’s a lot of elements that we do in the videos that we’re going to incorporate in the game stream. At halftime, instead of just giving you a breakdown of the game, we’re doing a crazy King of The Court challenge.

You can watch the Jesser x NBA stream, starting at 10 ET on the NBA App.