NBA playoffs: Knicks cruise past Sixers as Jalen Brunson does something unseen since Michael Jordan

The New York Knicks cruised past the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday, and they can thank primarily another signature performance from Jalen Brunson.

The All-Star point guard led his team to a 118-115 Game 6 victory, capping a controversial streak with a 41-point performance. It was Brunson’s third straight 40-plus-point game and fourth straight with at least 37 points. No player since Michael Jordan has done the latter in the playoffs In 1993.

New York now faces the Indiana Pacers, who eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks earlier Thursday, in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Game 1 is scheduled for Monday at 7:30pm at Madison Square Garden (DNT).

Shutting down the Sixers seemed a much easier task than expected in the first quarter, when the Knicks jumped out to a 22-point lead, but the Sixers came back and took the lead at halftime. The Knicks regained control with a nine-point lead late in the fourth quarter before the Sixers tied it again with 35 seconds left.

Cue Josh Hart:

Hart’s clutch 3-pointer gave the Knicks the lead and Joel Embiid’s subsequent basket still forced the Sixers to foul. Donte DiVincenzo and Brunson made four more free throws to put the game out of reach and end the streak.

In short, it was a great game for the Villanova players.

It was a big game from Joel Embiid, who scored 39 points on 12-of-25 shooting with 13 rebounds, two assists and five turnovers. He got out in the last minute.

If you told Sixers fans that Embiid dropped 39 with 42 points, they’d be asking you for Game 7 time. Unfortunately, scoreless outings from Tobias Harris and Kyle Lowry left them with a lot of work to do. A unified Knicks team.

See also  NBA Playoffs: Timberwolves rally from 20-point deficit to stun Nuggets in Game 7 to reach conference finals
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 02: Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks drives past Nicholls #40 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the third quarter of the Eastern Conference first round playoffs on May 02, 2024 at the Wells Fargo Center.  In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The Sixers had speed, but the Knicks had Jalen Brunson. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

With rotation member Bojan Bogdanovic out for the season with wrist and leg injuries, the Knicks have leaned heavily on their starters to get them over the finish line. Brunson, Hart, DiVincenzo and OG Anunoby all played at least 43 minutes, with DiVincenzo staying on the court the entire game. Mitchell Robinson and Myles McBride were the only bench players to see the floor, scoring a combined five points.

That strategy may have burned New York for Game 7, but it paid off.

It was a fitting end to one of the most eventful series of the first round. The Knicks took Games 1 and 2, but won the latter thanks to a frantic streak in which the NBA admitted New York made too many mistakes to force a turnover. Embiid scored 50 points to avoid a 3-0 deficit for the Sixers, and Brunson responded with a 47-point performance in Game 4. Then came Tyrus Maxey’s one-of-a-lifetime night to prevent elimination.

It was a hostile, dramatic series, and the Knicks should be glad it’s over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *