Knicks Edge Pacers in Game 1 Thriller, Brunson Scores 43 : What You Need To Know!

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Jalen Brunson doesn’t lace up his sneakers with a 40-point game etched in his mind. This relentless competitor lives and breathes for the win. Every gritty defensive stand, every hustle play – that’s what fuels his fire.

“It’s not just the buckets,” Brunson said, sweat still glistening on his brow. “I know the little plays make the difference in those pressure-cooker games. I’m so grateful for this team, man.”

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And grateful the Knicks should be! Brunson exploded for 43 points, joining an elite club with Jerry West, Michael Jordan, and Bernard King as the only players to hit four consecutive 40-point games in NBA postseason history. In a breathtaking fourth-quarter surge, he rained down 21 points to snatch victory from the Indiana Pacers in a 121-117 Game 1 thriller.

Donte DiVincenzo added fuel to the fire with a nail-biting tie-breaking 3-pointer that had the crowd on its feet. He finished with a cool 25 points, proving instrumental in the Knicks’ heart-pounding win to open the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The energy inside the arena was electric, a stark contrast to the Pacers’ early nine-point lead in the fourth. But then something shifted. Brunson became a whirlwind, refusing to let his team fall. The Pacers scrapped and clawed back, but a controversial offensive foul against Myles Turner swung momentum in the Knicks’ favor.

Brunson’s Brilliance and Knicks’ Grit Set Stage for Playoff Showdown in Game 2

“Just the way this team fights… they put their hearts on the line every night,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said, a hint of pride in his eyes. “We’re battle-tested, and that toughness shows when the clock’s running out.”

Josh Hart was a workhorse, matching his hustle with a playoff career-high 24 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists, playing all 48 minutes of the game.

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Game 2 is set for Wednesday, and if Game 1 was anything to go by, fans are in for a wild ride. The sixth-seeded Pacers stunned the league with their first-round upset of Milwaukee and showed their grit tonight with a 46-3 bench advantage. T.J. McConnell and Pascal Siakam fought valiantly, but Indiana couldn’t match Brunson’s unstoppable brilliance and a relentless Knicks squad.

“Playing in a legendary place like this, in a playoff series… it doesn’t get better,” McConnell said, a hint of admiration mixed with disappointment in his voice. “They made the plays; we didn’t. We’re gonna regroup and come back fighting.”

The Knicks-Pacers rivalry from the ’90s and early 2000s is back with a vengeance. Could the Knicks ride Brunson’s hot streak all the way to a series upset? It’s too early to tell, but one thing’s for sure – this series is going to be a nail-biter.

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