Knicks stronger than bad luck, Indiana still knocked out

After the controversial end of game 1, the injuries that took Jalen Brunson and OG Anunoby away from the game, the best in the Knicks jersey, respectively in the 2nd quarter and for the entire final part of the game, weren’t enough for the Pacers. New York, in fact, resists, and thanks to Brunson’s return to the field, they get their hands on the game in the 3rd quarter and defend the result in the point-to-point of the last set. The Pacers lose the rebounding battle (44-34) and go down 0-2 in the series.

When Brunson comes out in pain, limping on his left foot, there are still more than 3 minutes left to play in the 1st quarter and all 19,812 spectators present hold their breath. A collective apnea that lasts until the long break, when the Knicks point guard returns to the field for the warm-up welcomed by the crowd’s ovation. Ovation that continues also in the second half of the match, in which Brunson leads him to victory with 29 points, of which 14 scored in the 4th quarter alone.

If Brunson is once again the hero of the evening for the Knicks, his two former teammates from Villanova continue to support him without missing a beat. Josh Hart plays all 48 minutes and finishes with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists, Donte DiVincenzo scores 28 while shooting 6/12 from long range.

Anunoby’s evening, unlike Brunson’s, did not have a happy ending because the Knicks winger went out with a strain in the 3rd quarter and was unable to return. Up until then the former Raptors player had simply been the best on the pitch, recording his career high in the playoffs with 28 points.

If we were to look for a true symbol of these Knicks who resist the many injuries and continue to grit their teeth and win, Isaiah Hartenstein could be a strong candidate. Even in game 2 against Indiana the New York center plays a game with a great impact, even coming close to the triple double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists.

He was the big disappointment in game 1, and in game 2 Tyrese Haliburton found his redemption. If Indiana stays in the game for a long time, ending up losing only in the second part of the 4th quarter, it is above all thanks to his 34 points and 9 assists, the result of an excellent 11/19 from the field and 7/11 from three.

The game 2 defeat is heavy for the Pacers, who due to various injuries do not take advantage of the Knicks’ roster reduced to a minimum. However, one of the reasons for hope for Indiana remains the bench, from which the former Obi Toppin (20 points in 20 minutes played) and T.J. still emerge. McConnell, protagonist with 10 points and 12 assists but mysteriously kept on the bench for the last 7 minutes of the match by coach Rick Carlisle.

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