Mon. May 27th, 2024

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By timezonenews.com May7,2024 #knicks

It sounds like Brunson really dominated the fourth quarter, helping the New York Knicks secure a crucial Game 1 victory over the Indiana Pacers. With 21 of his 43 points coming in that quarter alone, it’s clear he played a pivotal role in the win. His ability to relentlessly attack the basket and create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates must have been impressive to watch. The Knicks must be thrilled to have such a clutch performer on their team.

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Brunson’s performance is truly remarkable, especially considering his consistency in delivering high-scoring games combined with significant assists. With 40 points in four straight playoff games, he’s not only showcasing his scoring prowess but also his playmaking abilities, making him a dual threat on the court. Becoming the first player in NBA history to achieve four consecutive 40-point, 5-assist playoff games is an incredible feat and a testament to his skill and impact on the game. It’s clear that Brunson is elevating his game when it matters most, and his contributions are undoubtedly invaluable to the New York Knicks’ playoff success.

“It’s the little things that can make a big difference,” Brunson remarked. “Sure, scoring 40 points is great, but it’s the small details that contribute to our victories. I’m grateful for my teammates and their commitment to giving their all every day. We’re a team that’s determined to fight until the end, and that’s where my focus lies

Brunson’s impact on the scoreboard is undeniable, as he’s either scored or assisted on an impressive 321 points in his last five games. This places him second in NBA postseason history for total points contributed over a five-game span, trailing only Nikola Jokic from the Denver Nuggets last postseason, who tallied 329 points over five playoff games. Brunson’s ability to consistently generate offense for himself and his teammates speaks volumes about his importance to the New York Knicks’ playoff campaign.

Once again, Brunson demonstrated his poise and basketball IQ in a crucial moment. Similar to his plays in the previous victories against the 76ers, he seized the opportunity when defenders closed in on him, swiftly finding his former Villanova teammate Donte DiVincenzo with a pinpoint pass. DiVincenzo then delivered by sinking a clutch 3-pointer, breaking the deadlock at 115-115 with just 40 seconds remaining. This pivotal play ultimately provided the New York Knicks with the momentum they needed to secure the win in Game 1.

DiVincenzo’s second-half explosion, contributing 21 of his 25 points and shooting an impressive 8 of 10 from the field, played a significant role in the New York Knicks’ success. However, the game also saw a controversial moment that could have altered the course of the match.

The Knicks retained possession following a call against Pacers guard Aaron Nesmith, who appeared to have deflected a Brunson pass, potentially leading to a steal and fast-break opportunity for the Pacers. Despite the ball hitting Nesmith’s hand, referees deemed that his outstretched foot made contact with the ball, resulting in a kicked ball violation. Although the Pacers had a challenge at their disposal, such plays are not reviewable, leaving them unable to contest the call. This ruling sparked debate and could have had significant implications on the outcome of the game.

In a postgame admission, the referees acknowledged their error regarding the controversial call. “On the floor, we interpreted it as a kicked ball violation. However, upon postgame review, it was evident that the ball had indeed hit the defender’s hand, which would have been a legal play,” explained crew chief Zach Zarba in a pool report. This acknowledgment shed light on the misinterpretation during the game and highlighted the importance of postgame review in ensuring accurate officiating.

In the closing moments of the game, with just 12.7 seconds remaining and the Pacers trailing by a single point with possession, center Myles Turner was called for a moving screen on DiVincenzo as he attempted to free up point guard Tyrese Haliburton. Despite a close play, the Pacers challenged the call, only to have it upheld upon review.

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle expressed his disappointment with the call, stating, “We’re not expecting to get calls in here. It would be nice if they laid off that one, but they didn’t. So that’s just the way it goes.”

Turner, who led the Pacers with 23 points in the loss, acknowledged DiVincenzo’s ability to draw the foul, taking the high road in defeat. “Just in my experience in this league, I think it’s best when players decide the outcome of the game,” Turner remarked. “For the most part, you can’t leave the game to be decided by the refs, so we have to take accountability as well.”

The Pacers also lamented their defensive lapses, particularly allowing Brunson to capitalize on free throw opportunities, as he made all 14 of his attempts from the line. Additionally, they acknowledged the offensive contributions of DiVincenzo and Josh Hart, who combined for 49 points, as well as the Knicks’ impressive 65% shooting performance in the second half.

Hart’s endurance has been exceptional throughout the postseason, as he played all 48 minutes for the third time, a feat not seen since Jimmy Butler accomplished it five times in the 2013 playoffs.

Despite battling back spasms and being listed as questionable before the game, Haliburton’s impact was limited, contributing just six points and attempting only one shot inside the 3-point line. Meanwhile, Brunson’s dominance in the matchup of star point guards proved to be a significant challenge for the Pacers to overcome.

Brunson’s fourth-quarter performances have been particularly noteworthy, averaging 12.4 points per game over the past five games. He showcased his clutch abilities once again, making 6 of 10 shots and going a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line down the stretch, consistently delivering under pressure.

Coach Tom Thibodeau praised Brunson’s selflessness and team-first mentality, emphasizing his unwavering commitment to winning and supporting his teammates. Thibodeau highlighted Brunson’s versatility, noting his ability to step up when needed, whether it’s scoring a crucial basket or making a key play for the team.

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