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Knicks’ Josh Hart still comes up huge despite not making any field goals

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PHILADELPHIA — Josh Hart joked that the Knicks needed Jalen Brunson to go off for 47 points Sunday, especially because of his own offensive struggles. 

“S–t, the starting small forward, power forward, whatever I am, where I didn’t make a shot. And I was like Shaq at the free-throw line,” Hart self-assessed after the Knicks’ 97-92 Game 4 victory

Of course, Hart has established himself as the type of do-it-all player who can significantly impact a game without scoring, and that clearly was the case as the Knicks grabbed a 3-1 series lead with their first chance to close out the Sixers coming Tuesday at the Garden. 

Josh Hart (L.) blocks Nicolas Batum during the Knicks’ Game 4 win over the 76ers on April 28, 2024. Getty Images

Hart committed five turnovers and missed all seven field-goal attempts — including 0-for-3 from 3-point range — but he grabbed 17 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass to help the Knicks to a 15-9 advantage in that department.

He also finished the game with five assists and three of the Knicks’s 11 blocked shots. 

“I mean, I had to do something,” said Hart, who was 4-for-8 from the free-throw line. “I had five turnovers, didn’t make a shot, didn’t hit any free throws, missed two free throws late that were big. So offensively it just wasn’t there today. 

“But when you have that, you have to try to figure out ways to still make an impact in the game. And for me that was rebounding and pushing. Offensive rebound, trying to get extra possessions. Looked athletic on a couple of blocks, so that was nice. 

“But yeah, when you’re not making shots, you got to find other ways to impact the game.”

Josh Hart reacts during the Knicks’ Game 4 win over the 76ers on April 28, 2024. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Hart had shot well in the first three games of the series, hitting 20 of 44 from the floor (.455) and better than 50 percent from long distance (12-for-23), with four made 3-pointers in each of those appearances. 

Tom Thibodeau praised the Knicks for exhibiting “a lot of hustle” in Game 4, but he noted that “Josh was unbelievable” in that regard. 

“I thought we were physical. I think we protected ourselves but we were physical,” Hart said. “We matched their physicality. I think we got outrebounded the last game, but we outrebounded them today [52-42]. We didn’t allow ourselves to get pushed around.”

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