The Knicks overcame mid-game injuries to Jalen Brunson and OG Anunoby to beat the Pacers in Game 2.

The New York Knicks (2-0) picked up their second win of their conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers despite two of their most prolific players, OG Anunoby and Jalen Brunson, dealing with injuries. The final score: 130-121.

The first quarter opened up with Andrew Nembhard laying one in a speedy fashion followed by a jumper from Brunson. From there, both teams went coast to coast, muscling their way into the paint for more buckets. It was also crystal clear how great of a start OG Anunoby was having. He was extremely aggressive and dialed in, notching 12 early points. 

More than halfway in, Tyrese Haliburton was determined to have a better game than in Game 1, threading in a triple which ended up tallying him 13 points by the end of the first. With back-to-back treys from Donte DiVincenzo and JB, the Knicks’ defense and ball movement were proving to be out of this world with an 11-point lead already. After a much-needed timeout by Rick Carlisle, the Pacers were doing much better. Former Knick Obi Toppin continued his revenge tour and Nesmith was cashing in on threes, allowing the Pacers to go on an 11-0 run. 

Now tied at 26, Haliburton was locked in and loaded for his team. However, this did not slow down Josh Hart one bit as he was seen scoring alone after sprinting with the rock energetically and with impressive style. Despite Haliburton leading his team, Precious Achiuwa also stepped up, which is crucial considering Mitchell Robinson’s absence. The first quarter ended with the Knicks and the Pacers all even at 36. 

The second quarter started with two made free throws from Hart. T.J. McConnell answered back by getting one inside the paint. Rookie Ben Sheppard and Anunoby then traded threes, which was followed by another downtown triple from Toppin after the Knicks failed to make the most out of their defensive rebounds. The Pacers were taking full advantage with their second chance points and were now leading over the Knicks.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, Brunson was back inside the Knicks’ locker room. The team announced he was dealing with a sore foot and his return was designated as questionable. But on a much more positive note, OG, strong like a madman, was hungry for more and would not quit. He added 10 more points before halftime. Haliburton still continued to make it difficult for the Knicks as he was lighting it up with three threes from beyond the arc in the second, some left open. The Knicks’ defense was falling flat on its face for a stretch. Although unable to catch up to the Pacers’ lead, DiVincenzo was instilling himself as a catalyst by scoring and facilitating.

The first half ended in a 10-point Pacers lead over the Knicks, 73-63. Fortunately, JB made his return to the court in the second half.

The third quarter sliced open with a strong drive from Nembhard. DiVincenzo continued to dazzle fans with two back-to-back threes and a strong two-handed jam. He piled up 12 points in the third. Nembhard tried to battle back with most of his points in the paint. Now leading, the Knicks’ offense was red-hot and impalpable. Thanks to not only their offensive but their defensive abilities as well, the Knicks were going on a massive run in this quarter, 21-4 against the Pacers. With less than five minutes remaining in the third, the Knicks did not let up their defense one bit, Brunson with the unselfish pass to OG who was unshy with the fast layup.

The Knicks were on a crucial fastbreak, ignited by an emphatic block by Hart against Sheppard’s layup, where DiVincenzo was able to get the second putback point after Anunoby’s miss where he came up limping afterward. The third quarter finished with the Knicks leading 99-91 over the Pacers as Brunson scored 10 points.

The final quarter unfolded with bad news: Anunoby was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a sore left hamstring. The fourth unfastened with a heavily contested bucket into the key by Isaiah Jackson as well as two consecutive shots from McConnell, who was absolutely dominating the paint) JB, fearless as ever, then went head-to-head against McConnell in the paint, absorbing the contact like no other and knocking down the and-one. Fighting back, McConnell was absolutely ruthless while being double-teamed, gathering a left-handed layup as if it was nothing for him. 

Once Hart nailed a triple, JB worked hard with terrific movement into the rim. From there, JB was beyond breathtaking, taking a stepback three against Nembhard. He completed 14 points in the fourth. The Knicks’ rhythm was just clicking, which was critical in this tight-knit game. With just three minutes remaining in regulation, DiVincenzo inserted the ball into Achiuwa’s hands under the rim for the shot. Despite Haliburton trying to help the Pacers survive, Brunson put a stop to that immediately, able to secure the win. 

Overall, all five Knicks starters brought down tonight’s victory in double figures. A determined JB led the way with 29 points in 32 minutes. OG, the unsung hero, dominated with 28 points before exiting. DiVincenzo was absolutely on fire with six triples (on 12 attempts) and 28 points of his own. A hustling Hart tallied 19 points and 15 rebounds — and he cursed at Reggie Miller on live television. Isaiah Hartenstein rounded up 14 points, 12 rebounds and a team-high eight assists. 

Haliburton led the Pacers with 34 points with Toppin coming in second with 20 points. Nembhard scored 15 points, Siakam notched 14 points, Sheppard added 11 points, and the hard-to-ignore McConnell tallied 10 points to go along with a game-high 12 assists. 

Next up, the Knicks will be going on the road for Game 3 to face the Pacers on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. E.T.

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