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NBA playoffs: Pacers outlast Knicks, 111–106, for crucial Game 3 win

May 11th, 2024

Andrew Nembhard‘s 30-foot three-pointer with 16.4 seconds left gave the Indiana Pacers the lead in an eventual 111–106 win over the New York Knicks in Game 3 of their second-round NBA playoff series. The improbable shot followed a game-tying three from Jalen Brunson, who finished with 26 points while struggling with a right foot injury.

Aaron Nesmith hit two free throws to provide the final score for Indiana. The Pacers closed the best-of-seven series to a 2–1 margin and have a chance to even the series with a win in Game 4 on Sunday.

Donte DiVincenzo had the best game of his postseason career, scoring 35 points when Brunson was not at his best. He was lethal from three-point range, going 7-for-11 from behind the arc. The Knicks as a team went 52 percent from three, hitting 14-of-27 shots. Miles McBride hit 2-of-5 from long range while Alec Burks went 2-for-4.

Brunson looked limited early on, scoring only two points in the first quarter while shooting 1-for-5. But he adjusted to the Pacers’ physical defense on him and scored 11 points in the second quarter. If Indiana thought it could capitalize with Brunson hobbled, DiVincenzo helped keep the Knicks close with 15 first-half points, shooting 3-for-4 on three-pointers.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 35 points to lead the Pacers. He twisted his ankle in the fourth quarter, but did not leave the game. Add that to the back spasms he’s been dealing with and his effectiveness for Game 4 could be uncertain.

Pascal Siakam added 26 points for Indiana, while Myles Turner added 22 with a crucial block on Hart with two minutes remaining. Unlike the first two games of this series, the Pacers’ bench provided little production, contributing 14 points.

With OG Anunoby out with a strained left hamstring, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau had to use reserves like Precious Achiuwa and Jericho Sims more than he typically prefers. Burks provided a major surprise off the bench. The veteran journeyman scored 13 points in the first half, going 2-for-2 from three. He finished with 14 points.

Josh Hart grabbed 18 rebounds with 10 points (and hit his one three-point shot) for the Knicks.

Brunson was listed as questionable before Game 3, but there seemed to be little doubt that he would play despite a right foot injury he suffered in Game 2.

Indiana tried to test Brunson right away with Nesmith pressuring him all the way up the court. He wasn’t able to power past the bigger Nesmith as he had with Haliburton, Nembhard and T.J. McConnell in the first two games of the series. The strategy seemed to work as Brunson did little in the first quarter.

Yet Brunson’s foot was likely also a factor. He was noticeably limping on his right foot after playing five minutes in the first quarter, prompting Thibodeau to give his star a three-minute rest. Whether it was the rest or Brunson warming up, he felt better in the second quarter though did not appear to have the usual lift on his shot.

Game 4 of the Knicks-Pacers series is scheduled for Sunday at Indianapolis. Tipoff is 3:30 p.m. ET with the telecast on ABC.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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