Jalen Brunson Propels Knicks To 3-2 Lead Over Pacers

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NBA Analysis

Jalen Brunson scored 44 points, hitting the 40-point mark for the fifth time in this NBA postseason, and the New York Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 121-91 on Tuesday for a 3-2 lead in their playoff series.

“I think as a team, no matter what the situation is, we have the same mindset no matter what,” Brunson said. “And regardless of how I’m feeling or someone else is feeling, we know what’s at stake, we know what we have to do, and we’re going to figure it out.”

Brunson injured his right foot in Game 2 and was limited to 18 points Sunday, his lowest of the postseason. He continues to express that he’s fine and showed it Tuesday, shooting 18 for 35 and again looking like the player who finished fifth in MVP voting.

“We still need one more win so we can’t get too excited about it,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We have to understand what we need to do, stay focused on the task at hand. If you feel good about yourself you get knocked down in this league. We’ve got to be ready to go.”

Pascal Siakam scored 22 points for the sixth-seeded Pacers, who will try to stay unbeaten at home in the postseason to force the decisive game. Myles Turner added 16, but All-Star Tyrese Haliburton had only 13 after averaging 29.7 over the last three games.

The Knicks haven’t reached the Eastern Conference Finals since the Pacers defeated them in 2000. They then lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

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