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Jalen Brunson dominates as New York Knicks take game five against Indiana Pacers

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Jalen Brunson has been the star man for the New York Knicks this season and tonight proved no different. He ended with 44 points, just shy of the all-time play off high 47 he dropped on the 76ers in round one. 

Despite Brunson dominating, Josh Hart, Miles McBride and Alec Burks all contributed significantly; Josh Hart recording a double-double. 

The Pacers kept the score line to a six-point deficit after the first quarter but capitulated in the second, allowing the Knicks to charge into a 15-point lead. By the time the second quarter came to an end, Brunson had 28 points and hope was all but lost for any chance of a Pacers comeback. 

By Q3 that theory was all but confirmed as once again the Knicks showed their superiority. By the end of Q3, Brunson had amassed 35 points; in comparison Myles Turner was the lead scorer for the Pacers, with just 16 points. By this stage, the gap had now increased to 21. 

It was clear the Pacers had given up by Q4. A 18-4 run from the Knicks compiled the misery for the Pacers, who ended up losing the game by a massive 30 points. This makes it the third worst play-off loss in the entire Pacers franchise history. The Pacers will be looking to regroup and bounce back in game six on Saturday. 

Story of the Game: 

The first quarter was relatively well contested, with both teams scoring well and keeping within touching distance of one another. The Knicks were relying more upon individuals (Brunson 10pts), whereas the Pacers spread the scoring between their players. the quarter ended 32-38 to the Knicks. 

The second quarter was a completely different story. Pascal Siakam led the scoring for the Pacers but Jalen Brunson blew them away. He had scored over double Siakam’s points with 28 and eight-point contribution from both Josh Hart and Miles McBride saw the Knicks run riot, ending the quarter 54-69 and racing into a 15 point lead; over double the six-point lead in Q1. 

With a 15-point mountain to climb, the Pacers needed a reaction quickly but it wasn’t to be. The Knicks began the quarter with an incredible 19-1 scoring run. The key to this was largely down to seven foot German centre Isiah Hartenstein’s ability to rack up offensive rebounds. Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle stated in his pre-game press conference, ”If you don’t hit somebody and go get the ball, you’re gonna lose.” By this stage the Knicks had 16 offensive rebounds where the Pacers had just three. Carlisle’s theory was correct. The Pacers were being blown away by the Knicks’ physicality in the paint. 

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 14: Isaiah Hartenstein #55 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket during the game against the Indiana Pacers during Round 2 Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2024 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Brunson ended the quarter with 35 points, three rebounds and 7 assists, with a 57.7 field-goal percentage. Josh Hart also had a great quarter, finishing the third with 18 points, 10 rebound and 3 assists, landing himself a double-double. Q3 ended 75-96, with the Pacers now trailing by 21 points. 

By the fourth quarter any defensive attempt from the Pacers had been neutralised. The Knicks began the quarter once again with another huge scoring run of 18-4. Brunson would end the game doubling score of the lead scorer for the Pacers (Siakam: 22) and scoring 44 points. The Pacers ended the game with 18 turnovers. By the time the buzzer sounded, the Pacers had suffered an embarrassing 30-point loss, with the final score 91-121. 

Jalen Brunson was back to his best in the garden, after an uncharacteristic 18-point game back in Indiana in game four. By the time the second quarter had finished, he had scored 18 points in Q2 alone and had notched up 28 in total. He ended the game with 44 points and his shooting had been one of the keys to the New York Knicks’ victory. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 14: <strong><a  src=
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 14: Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket against Aaron Nesmith #23 of the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 14, 2024 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
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