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Jalen Brunson struggles in first half, Pacers force Game 7 with 116-103 victory against Knicks

Kristian Winfield, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

INDIANAPOLIS — Maybe it was the foot Jalen Brunson injured in Game 2.

Maybe after touching earth in embarrassing fashion in Game 5, Aaron Nesmith got his revenge against the Knicks’ All-Star guard in Game 6.

Maybe the decreasing number of bodies plus the rising number of minutes are finally taking a toll.

Maybe it was the painful abdominal issue Josh Hart was dealing with that rendered him ineffective and eventually forced him out of the game.

Or maybe it was the moment.

Maybe the opportunity to close out the Indiana Pacers on their own home floor proved too much.

 

Maybe it was just a bad game. A really bad game. The type of game that’s become atypical, if not unbecoming of the player whose ascent to potential superstardom propelled the Knicks to the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed.

Maybe it was complacency.

Maybe the Knicks, who might have the best home-court advantage in all of sports, believe in just that — the power of the Madison Square Garden crowd — and didn’t empty the tank at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Friday because, well, there’s always another chance to close it out at home on Sunday.

Or maybe it was the worst-case scenario for the Knicks and their playoff hopes.

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