Brunson’s 44-point performance propels the Knicks to a 121-91 victory over the Pacers, bringing them one step closer to the conference finals

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New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers

The New York Knicks are just one step away from reaching the Eastern Conference finals, a feat they haven’t accomplished since 2000. Jalen Brunson, who struggled in a couple of recent games, seems to be back in top form.

Brunson scored 44 points, marking his fifth time hitting the 40-point mark in this postseason, as the Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers 121-91 on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.

After a tough loss, the Knicks bounced back and secured at least one more game at Madison Square Garden, much to the delight of their passionate fans eager for postseason excitement. Josh Hart contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Deuce McBride added 17 points after being placed in the starting lineup.

As the No. 2 seed, the Knicks have the opportunity to clinch the series on Friday night in Indiana, following a two-day break, which is unusual for this series. The extra day might benefit the Knicks, who are currently missing four key players.

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA home debut with the Indiana Fever is scheduled for Thursday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, causing the extended break. If the series extends to a Game 7, it will take place on Sunday afternoon.

“We still need one more win, so we can’t get too ahead of ourselves,” cautioned Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau. “We have to remain focused and understand the task at hand. Confidence can be fleeting in this league, so we must stay prepared.”

Brunson injured his right foot during Game 2 and scored only 18 points in Sunday’s game, which was his lowest in the postseason. However, he reassured everyone that he was okay and ready to play on Tuesday.

“As a team, we maintain the same mindset no matter what,” Brunson said. “Regardless of how I or anyone else is feeling, we understand the importance of the situation and what needs to be done.”

New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers

Brunson showcased his skills, making quick 3-pointers and utilizing his fakes and spins to score soft jumpers in the lane. He shot 18 for 35, resembling the player who finished fifth in MVP voting this season, rather than the one who struggled in previous games.

In the first half, Brunson scored 28 points, setting a Knicks playoff record. In the fourth quarter, he sealed the game with seven consecutive points, including a three-point play that extended the lead to 106-86.

Brunson, who scored 43 points in Game 1, became the fourth player in NBA history to achieve four consecutive 40-point games in the playoffs.

Other players contributed to the Knicks’ victory as well. Alec Burks, who hadn’t been playing much recently due to injuries, scored 18 points off the bench. Isaiah Hartenstein added seven points and grabbed an impressive 17 rebounds, including 12 offensive rebounds. This helped the Knicks dominate the Pacers on the boards, outrebounding them 53-29, with 20 offensive rebounds leading to 26 second-chance points.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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