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Jalen Brunson’s 61 points not enough as Knicks suffer upset loss to Victor Wembanyama, Spurs in OT

What a way to end a spectacular showdown in San Antonio.

Jalen Brunson came one point shy of tying the Knicks’ all-time single-game scoring record, but it wasn’t enough, as rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama turned in a generational performance — 40 points, 20 rebounds and seven assists — to lead the Spurs team to an upset victory, 130-126, over a playoff-bound Knicks team in an overtime affair late Friday night. Wembanyama is the first rookie to post a 40-point, 20-rebound game since Shaquille O’Neale in 1993.

Brunson finished with 61 points on 25-of-47 shooting from the field and 5-of-13 shooting from three-point range. He scored 24 points in the third quarter alone to power the Knicks back from a second-quarter deficit ballooning as large as 21.

Brunson scored 59 points through the first four quarters but mustered just one basket in overtime.

The explosive scoring night, albeit in defeat, caps a magnificent season for the starting Knicks guard, who earned his first career NBA All-Star nod this season.

Carmelo Anthony continues to hold the franchise record with 62 points scored against the then-Charlotte Bobcats in Jan. 2014. Bernard King set his longstanding previous record of 60 points in 1984 against the New Jersey Nets, and Julius Randle’s mark of 57 points tied Richie Guerin, who scored the same amount of points in 1959.

The Knicks continue to miss OG Anunoby (right elbow surgery maintenance) and Julius Randle (dislocated right shoulder) due to injury.

And the injury woes compounded on Friday after Isaiah Hartenstein was on the receiving end of a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter.

Hartenstein landed awkwardly on his left wrist in the fourth quarter and briefly left the game before returning to the floor to shoot two free throws.

Mitchell Robinson, in his second game back after December ankle surgery, started overtime for Hartenstein, who fouled out at the end of the fourth quarter.

Robinson also landed awkwardly and turned his foot after missing an alley-oop midway through the extra period. He gritted through the pain and finished the period for the Knicks.

Donte DiVincenzo made six threes to pass Evan Fournier as the Knicks’ new single-season leader in threes made.

After the Spurs sent a triple team at Brunson on the final possession of regulation, Deuce McBride had a clean look at a three at the buzzer, but it was well off left iron.

Friday night marked just the Knicks’ third loss of the season to a team with a losing record. The Knicks dropped to the East’s No. 4, a spot behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are a half game ahead of New York in the standings after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

The Knicks hold the tiebreaker over the Cavaliers, winning the season series, 2-1.

Devin Vassell gave the Spurs 23 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the field, but San Antonio’s bench outscored the Knicks’ second unit, 38-19.

Robinson finished with seven points and 12 rebounds off the bench, and Bojan Bogdnovic scored just four points on two-of-seven shooting from the field, missing all three of his attempts from downtown.

Alec Burks sat due to a shoulder injury.

The Knicks now have nine games left on the schedule. Four of those games are against below-.500 teams, while the other five are against teams jockeying for playoff or Play-In Tournament positioning.

Next up, the Knicks return home to host an Oklahoma City Thunder team within a half-game of the Western Conference’s No. 1 overall seed.