Jalen Brunson sets franchise playoff record with 47 points, propelling the Knicks to a 3-1 lead in the series

The New York Knicks took a 3-1 lead in the series after a tough phisical win at the Wells Fargo Center, defeating the Philadelphia Sixers 97-92.

Jalen Brunson stole the spotlight with a remarkable performance, setting a new franchise playoff record by dropping an impressive 47 points, surpassing Bernard King’s previous record of 46.

Brunson also contributed 10 assists, and despite facing challenges with his three-point shooting, going 2-8 from downtown, Brunson remained efficient overall, shooting 18-34 from the field. Additionally, he capitalized on his opportunities at the free-throw line, making 9 out of 11 attempts to solidify his stellar performance.

Once again, the Knicks found themselves in a grueling and physical contest. Their challenges were compounded when Bojan Bogdanovic was sidelined moments after entering the game, following a collision with Nicolas Batum as they both pursued a loose ball, resulting in Tatum inadvertently falling on Bogdanovic’s ankle.

Isaiah Hartenstein, who had managed to avoid foul trouble in the first half, encountered difficulties in the third quarter, accumulating five fouls while defending Joel Embiid. With Hartenstein sidelined due to foul trouble, Coach Tom Thibodeau turned to Precious Achiuwa to contain Embiid.

Achiuwa rose to the occasion, delivering a stellar defensive performance against Embiid. Despite scoring just one point, Achiuwa made a significant impact by grabbing seven rebounds and limiting Embiid to just one point in the fourth quarter, as the Sixers’ star went 0-5 from the field. Achiuwa’s defensive prowess proved to be a crucial factor in the Knicks’ victory.

The Knicks were briefly rattled when Kyle Lowry’s last-second attempt in the third quarter collided with Jalen Brunson’s knee, causing concern as Brunson was sidelined at the start of the fourth quarter. However, Brunson swiftly returned to action, displaying resilience as he guided his team to secure a crucial 3-1 lead in the fiercely contested series.

Despite facing a daunting 12-point deficit with just one minute remaining in the first quarter, the Knicks rallied admirably. They showcased their determination and grit by outscoring the Sixers 50-43 in the second half, demonstrating their ability to overcome adversity and seize control of the game when it mattered most.

In the early stages of the game, the Knicks encountered challenges with their shooting and found it tough to convert opportunities in the paint. However, as the game progressed and approached the fourth quarter, they made crucial adjustments and began to assert dominance in the paint. The Knicks outscored the Sixers 44-32 in the paint and showcased their prowess in rebounding.

With a total of 52 rebounds compared to the Sixers’ 42, the Knicks held a significant advantage on the boards. Particularly noteworthy was their performance on the offensive glass, where they secured 15 offensive rebounds compared to the Sixers’ 9. This ability to create second-chance opportunities played a pivotal role in the Knicks’ success, allowing them to maintain control of the game and ultimately secure a crucial victory.

The Knicks received significant contributions from OG Anunoby, who provided valuable support with his scoring and rebounding efforts. Struggling from beyond the arc, Anunoby showcased his versatility by scoring 16 points on 8-16 shooting from the field. Additionally, his presence on the glass was instrumental, as he grabbed an impressive 14 rebounds, further bolstering the Knicks’ defensive efforts in the second half.

Meanwhile, Josh Hart made a notable impact on the game, particularly on the boards, where he recorded a game-high 17 rebounds. Among these were 5 offensive rebounds, highlighting his tenacity and ability to create second-chance opportunities for the team. Although he faced difficulties with his field goal attempts, Hart remained effective from the free-throw line, where he scored all 4 of his points. His defensive prowess was also on display, as evidenced by a highlight block on Batum’s attempted dunk early in the fourth quarter.

Donte DiVincenzo may not have had his best performance overall, but he stepped up when it counted, hitting two crucial three-pointers in the third quarter. With the Knicks trailing 70-63, DiVincenzo’s back-to-back threes cut the deficit to just one point, energizing the team and narrowing the gap to 70-69.

Following DiVincenzo’s clutch shots, Joel Embiid responded with a three-pointer of his own for the Sixers. However, Jalen Brunson quickly countered, draining his second three-pointer of the day to once again bring the Knicks within one point, maintaining the pressure on the Sixers.

Off the bench, Miles McBride made a significant impact with 13 points. Like DiVincenzo, McBride delivered a pair of timely three-pointers, helping the Knicks regain momentum when they were trailing 39-44 in the second quarter. McBride’s contributions provided a valuable spark off the bench and played a key role in keeping the Knicks competitive throughout the game.

In a strong performance for the Sixers, Joel Embiid posted 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Embiid continued to be a force in drawing fouls, particularly in the third quarter, where he capitalized on the opportunity, sinking 12 of 14 free throws. Despite his prowess at the line, Embiid faced challenges from the field, shooting 7-19 overall, including just 1-6 from beyond the arc. Notably, Embiid showcased his resilience by making his first dunk since his meniscus surgery to open the scoring, but he did not attempt another for the remainder of the game.

Tyrese Maxey also made significant contributions for the Sixers, tallying 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. Additionally, Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 19 points to the Sixers’ offensive effort.

Once again, the Knicks’ bench proved to be a valuable asset, outscoring the Sixers’ bench 14-6. This trend has persisted throughout the series, highlighting the depth and resilience of the Knicks despite facing key injuries.

The atmosphere at the Wells Fargo Center was electric as Knicks fans made their presence felt throughout the game. Their passionate support reverberated through the arena with spirited chants of “Let’s go Knicks” echoing in the air. The fervor reached a crescendo when Jalen Brunson was steppinmg up to the free-throw line, with chants of “MVP” raining down from the stands.

However, the Knicks faithful didn’t reserve their vocal support solely for their own team. When Joel Embiid found himself at the free-throw line, the atmosphere shifted, with resounding boos cascading from the stands.

With the series shifting back to New York, the Knicks will look to capitalize on their home-court advantage as they prepare for Game 5 on Tuesday. The stage is set for another intense showdown as both teams vie for control in this fiercely contested playoff series.

Up-next: Knicks (3-1) are looking at closing the series on Tuesday from 7:00pm

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