Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau beamed with pride as he described Jalen Brunson's 38-point, nine-rebound,

seven-assist performance in a must-win 112-103 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Wednesday night.

As eye-popping as the numbers were for the guard who has quickly become one of Thibodeau's favorite players in his first season with the Knicks,

the stat that really made Thibodeau gush was the 48 in the minutes column. Not only did Brunson lead his team offensively,

he played every second of the game to make sure the Knicks forced a Game 6 Friday night in Miami.

Brunson was relentless throughout Wednesday's game -- and the Knicks needed every bit of it.

"Just tried to do everything I could to win," Brunson said matter-of-factly. "We did that. Now it's onto Game 6."