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NBA Playoffs: Brunson officiates NY Knicks’ win over Indiana Pacers |  Basketball News
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NBA Playoffs: Brunson officiates NY Knicks’ win over Indiana Pacers | Basketball News

Brunson returned from a foot injury to lead the Knicks to a 2-0 playoff series lead over the Pacers.

Jalen Brunson shook off his injury to put on a sensational second-half display as the New York Knicks battled past the Indiana Pacers 130-121 on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven NBA Playoff Series.

New York talisman Brunson gave his team a huge scare after suffering a foot injury in the first quarter, forcing him to sit out the remainder of the half at Madison Square Garden.

Indiana took advantage of Brunson’s absence to create a 10-point lead by halftime and quickly led by 12 points in the third quarter after an early layup by Andrew Nembhard.

But a limping Brunson – who returned early in the third quarter – led a stunning rally as the Knicks outscored Indiana 36-18 in the third and took a 99-91 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Knicks then dug deep to hold on to their lead in the fourth and defeated the Pacers 31-30 to cap off a famous victory.

Brunson finished with 29 points and five assists, while Donte DiVincenzo and OG Anunoby led the way with 28 points each.

Josh Hart added 19 points with 15 rebounds, while Isaiah Hartenstein was huge defensively, with 12 rebounds, eight assists and 14 points.

“We found a way, that’s it,” said an exhausted Brunson. “For us it starts with our habits. We’ve talked about doing the little things a little bit better from day one, because you never know when they’re going to help you in a big game.

“It’s about doing the little things right every day, and we’re proud of that.”

However, the victory came at a cost for the Knicks, who were already missing injured first-round picks Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic.

In addition to Brunson’s injury on Wednesday, the Knicks saw another player injured, with Anunoby limping out of the game in the third quarter with a hamstring problem.

Somehow, the Knicks continued to outpace the Pacers, with Brunson scoring 14 fourth-quarter points and DiVincenzo adding eight points, including two crucial three-pointers that helped keep Indiana at bay.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau revealed the team was unsure if Brunson would continue after missing the second quarter.

“We didn’t know if he was going to be able to go or not, but he found a way to make it happen,” Thibodeau said.

Tyrese Haliburton led Indiana’s scorers with 34 points, while Nembhard finished with 15 points and Pascal Siakam had 14. Obi Toppin added 20 off the bench.

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle was ejected late in the fourth quarter after ranting at the officials following a decision to overturn a double dribble call against the Knicks’ Hartenstein.

Carlisle took aim at the officiating crew after the defeat, saying his team had been treated unfairly.

“I always talk to our guys about how it’s not just about the officials, but we deserve a fair shot,” Carlisle said. “There is no consistent balance and that is disappointing. Give New York credit for the physicality they play with. But their physicality is rewarded and ours is punished.”