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Jalen Brunson leads Knicks to 121-91 win vs. Pacers, New York takes 3-2 series lead



Jalen Brunson leads Knicks to 121-91 win vs. Pacers, New York takes 3-2 series lead

There have been numerous causes the New York Knicks thrashed the Indiana Pacers Tuesday evening, 121-91, giving them a 3-2 sequence lead and placing them one win away from the convention finals. 

One was Isaiah Hartenstein, who pummeled the Pacers on the offensive glass and walled off their drives to the rim. He completed with simply 5 factors, however grabbed 17 rebounds — 12 of which (!) had been off Knicks misses. He was solely credited with one block, however that quantity undersells his influence on that finish. 

One other was Tom Thibodeau’s resolution to insert Miles McBride into the beginning lineup to interchange Treasured Achiuwa, who was beginning rather than the injured OG Anunoby. The swap led to a extra unfold ground for the Knicks and allowed them to raised match the Pacers’ drive-and-kick machine. McBride was nice, ending with 17 factors and 4 assists all whereas locking down Tyrese Haliburton (simply 13 factors and 5 assists). 

And let’s not overlook Alec Burks, who, after not enjoying a minute within the first spherical in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers, has been dusted off (because of all of the Knicks’ accidents). He responded with an 18-points-in-22 minutes explosion.

However let’s additionally not child ourselves: The Knicks gained this sport as a result of Jalen Brunson regarded like himself once more. His bounce was again. So was his elevate. These silky jumpers that fell brief in Video games 3 and 4 ripped by the web in Recreation 5. After taking pictures simply 37% in his earlier two contests, Brunson bounced again with a monster efficiency: 44 factors on 18-for-35 taking pictures to go together with seven assists. Greater than that, he made the Pacers look helpless as soon as once more. 

Brunson torched Aaron Nembhard, like he has all sequence, however this time he acquired the very best of Aaron Nesmith and TJ McConnell, too. The previous he cooked along with his standard sequence of bobs and fakes. The latter he beat by punishing him along with his measurement. He bullied the Pacers once they lined him one-on-one. After they despatched traps, he removed the ball quick, discovering rollers and cutters in the midst of the ground and forcing the Pacers’ protection to scramble.

Brunson is the engine that makes the Knicks go. When he performs like he did Sunday in opposition to the Pacers, the Knicks haven’t any shot. However when he performs like he did all through the back-end of the Sixers’ sequence and all through the primary six quarters of this sequence, earlier than he harm his proper foot, this Knicks group, with its next-man-up mentality, can beat anybody. 

That is the story from Recreation 5. Brunson is again. And due to it, so are the Knicks. 

Yaron Weitzman is an NBA author for FOX Sports activities and the creator of Tanking to the High: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Course of within the Historical past of Skilled Sports activities. Observe him on Twitter @YaronWeitzman.

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Jalen Brunson

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