Brunson drops 43, leads gutsy Knicks in win over Pacers for 1-0 East semis lead

Published May 7, 2024, 11:20 AMPao Ambat

Jalen Brunson scored 210 points in his last five playoff games, the most in a five-game span since Michael Jordan in 1993.

Brunson tied Michael Jordan and Bernard King with his fourth straight 40-point game in the playoffs.

Just where would the New York Knicks be without Jalen Brunson?

Brunson took over late and had 43 points, Donte DiVincenzo hit a clutch triple and the second-seeded New York Knicks survived the sixth-seed Indiana Pacers, 121-117, for a gritty opening win to start their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Brunson scored 21 fourth-quarter points en route to his fourth straight 40-point game dating back to New York’s opening round match up with the Philadelphia 76ers and added six rebounds and six assists while playing 43 minutes.

The former All-Star found an open DiVincenzo, who broke a 115-all deadlock to give the Knicks a 118-115 lead with 40 seconds left in regulation.

Pascal Siakam then responded with a tough lay to bring the Pacers within a single digit at 118-117.

After a New York turnover, the Pacers had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Myles Turner committed an offensive foul before Brunson iced a remarkable Knicks by connecting three clutch free throws later to seal the Knicks win.

DiVincenzo finished the game with 25 points built on five triples, but did most of his damage in the third where the former Villanova Wildcat scored 15 markers in that quarter.

Josh Hart came up with another all-around effort of a playoff career-high 24 points, 13 rebounds, and eight dimes and played the entire game.


The trio of Brunson, DiVincenzo, and Hart scored 33 of the Knicks’ 39 fourth-quarter points, with all of the three playing at least 43 minutes in a hard-earned series opening win.

Game 2 of this Knicks-Timberwolves series will be on Thursday (PH time). 

Meanwhile, Myles Turner led the way for the Pacers with 23 as Siakam chipped in 22 and the bench duo of TJ McConnell and Obi Toppin added 18 and 12 respectively. 


 Indiana actually led by nine points in the final frame - their biggest of the game- at 94-85 after a McConnell basket with 10:34 seconds left. 


 But the Pacers were outscored by the Knicks, 36-32, the rest of the way for another series-opening loss on the road. 


 The Rick Carlisle-mentored team lost Game 1 in their opening round series with the Bucks, but went on to oust the 2021 NBA champion in six games. 


 Toppin, a former Knick player, connected on an impressive East bay dunk to end the third for the Pacers on the driver seat, 87-82. 


Despite having a superior bench scoring edge at 46-3, the Pacers fizzled out late and committed crucial turnovers late.


Game 2 will air on May 9, Thursday, 8 a.m. LIVE on NBA TV Philippines and the Pilipinas Live app.