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May 8, 2024 11:04 pm

Jalen Brunson shakes off injury, sends Knicks past Pacers

knicks, pacers

Jalen Brunson returned from a first-half injury to spark a second-half comeback on Wednesday night for the host New York Knicks, who beat the Indiana Pacers 130-121 in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The second-seeded Knicks lead the sixth-seeded Pacers 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night in Indianapolis.

Brunson missed the final 15:32 of the first half with a right foot injury. The Knicks led 24-17 when Brunson exited, but they entered the second half down 73-63.

Brunson drew a standing ovation from the sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden after leading the Knicks out for warmups prior to the third quarter. He played all 24 second-half minutes and had 24 of his team-high 29 points — along with four assists, two steals and one rebound — over the final two quarters as New York outscored the Pacers 67-48.

OG Anunoby scored 28 points before leaving with 3:27 left in the third quarter due to a left hamstring injury. The Knicks are already playing without Mitchell Robinson, who will miss at least six weeks after aggravating a left ankle injury in Game 1, and Julius Randle, who is out for the season with a right shoulder injury suffered in January.

Donte DiVincenzo also had 28 points while Josh Hart (19 points, 15 rebounds) and Isaiah Hartenstein (14 points, 12 rebounds) posted double-doubles for the Knicks, who played the final 8:01 without making a substitution.

Tyrese Haliburton had 34 points and nine assists for the Pacers, while Obi Toppin scored 20 points off the bench. Andrew Nembhard had 15 points, Pascal Siakam added 14 points and nine rebounds and T.J. McConnell had a double-double (10 points, 12 assists) off the bench.

Nembhard opened the third quarter with a layup for the Pacers before New York went on a 36-16 run to end the period with a 99-91 lead. Indiana scored the first six points of the fourth to begin a 10-3 run that ended with McConnell hitting a layup with 8:03 left to cut the Pacers’ deficit to 102-101.

Hart hit a 3-pointer and Indiana got within two points four more times, the last coming at 112-110 on a floater by Haliburton with 4:35 remaining. But DiVincenzo drained an open corner 3-pointer on the Knicks’ next trip, and Siakam missed a 3-pointer and two free throws on the Pacers’ following possession.

–Field Level Media

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