Battered Knicks Take 2-0 Series Lead at MSG

By Tate Hutchinson

With the Knicks holding on to a tight two-point lead after the first quarter, New York fans were concerned to see Jalen Brunson not on the bench or in the game. As the Pacers inched back into the game and now holding a 10-point lead at the half, fans at Madison Square Garden feared that the injury bug had hit them again, this time with their superstar.

With the team in need of him, Brunson returned from an apparent foot injury during halftime, practicing taking shots and working hard to return. And his impact was felt immensely; the starting lineup soon dominated, flipping the script to a nine-point lead just seven minutes later.

However, just as New York took their largest lead of the half, OG Anunoby suffered a hamstring injury on a layup attempt and was listed as OUT for the night. The newly-acquired forward had just scored his 28th point of the night, making an impact on both offense and defense. But Precious Achiuwa filled the gap, and the starting lineup held it down on both ends, the backup big man in the wake of Mitchell Robinson’s Game 1 injury.

Fresh off being recognized tonight as a top-five-voted MVP candidate, Jalen Brunson proved his play on the court, leading the team with 29 points. DiVincenzo poured in a clutch 28 points, and Josh Hart played the entire 48 minutes, finishing with a 19-point, 15-rebound clinic on scalding efficiency.

Now down to six healthy rotation players, Knicks coach Thibodeau faces an uphill battle to continue the team’s success with the next two games in Indianapolis, Friday and Sunday.

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