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NY Knicks bounce back to crush Indiana Pacers, Nikola Jokic and Denver Nuggets on a roll



NEW YORK – The big-name players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) always bounces back, from poor performances or injuries, and that is what makes them the stars of their teams.

On May 14 it was Jalen Brunson who was back to his best, as the New York Knicks dominated the Indiana Pacers 121-91 at home to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semi-final play-offs.

A win on May 17 in Indianapolis will see the Knicks advance to the East Finals for the first time in 24 years.

After losing Game 4 by 32 points, it was an emphatic response from New York, with Brunson piling up 44 points with seven assists and four rebounds.

“He’s willing to share everything with his teammates, and that is the best part of him,” said Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau. “His play is spectacular, but who he is as a teammate, as a leader… Big shot after big shot.”

The Knicks destroyed Indiana on the boards, with Isaiah Hartenstein leading the way with 17 rebounds (12 offensive) while Josh Hart had 11 rebounds (nine defensive).

Brunson’s impact had been limited in the past two games in the series, with concerns that his heavy workload and a foot injury may have slowed him down.

But there were no signs of fatigue as he reached the 40 mark for the fifth time this post-season.

The guard, who had only 18 points in the Game 4 loss on May 12, shot 18 for 35 and put up 28 points in the first half – a play-off record for the Knicks.

And it was his seven straight points, including a three-pointer to open up a 20-point lead at 106-86, that made sure of the victory.

“I just love that there is never any excuse-making from him. He’s never talking about injuries,” added Thibodeau.

“A lot of times when you hear people talking about their injuries, a lot of it is excuse-making and you never get that from him.”

The Pacers got off to a strong start and led 25-20 before the Knicks put together an 11-0 run to end the first quarter up 38-32. By half-time, it was 69-54 and New York were in no mood to let the lead slip.

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