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Jalen Brunson scores 44 points as Knicks take 3-2 series lead with 121-91 rout of Pacers

Kristian Winfield, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

NEW YORK — Why is Aaron Nesmith playing Twister on a basketball court?

It’s the fourth quarter of a blowout Knicks Game 5 victory over the Indiana Pacers, a decisive 121-91 result in favor of a Knicks team that bounced back from a 32-point loss in Game 4, and Jalen Brunson, who had torched the Pacers’ best defensive option all night, went for the kill shot with his team up late.

Brunson advanced the ball past halfcourt with Nesmith awaiting him beyond the Knicks’ center-stage logo, then used a hesitation crossover combo to get the feisty Nesmith off-balance.

Brunson then snatched the ball behind his back, leaving Nesmith’s torso turned to the right with his head facing left, his hand planted into the ground and one leg skidding backwards.

The Madison Square Garden crowd erupted.

Brunson knifed through the lane and threw up a floater the Pacers goal-tended after touching the rim.

 

For Brunson and these Knicks, it was only a matter of time.

A matter of time before a tactician like the All-Star Knicks guard finally solved the problems posed by a feisty Pacers defense.

A matter of time before a Knicks team uncharacteristically out-rebounded in Games 3 and 4 of their second-round series finally got back to dominating a lesser opponent on the glass.

A matter of time before the Knicks, who dropped two games in a row at Indianapolis’ Gainbridge Fieldhouse — including an embarrassing loss in Game 4 on Sunday — returned home to wipe the Madison Square Garden floors with the only thing standing between New York and its best season since 2000.

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