Brunson's broken left hand in Game 7 the final injury for a Knicks team that was decimated by them

NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson carried the New York Knicks as far as he could, until he ended up like so many of his teammates.

He broke his left hand Sunday in the second half of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, one final injury for a team that was decimated by them.

Four key players were already unavailable by then, leaving the Knicks unable to slow down an Indiana Pacers team that was the highest-scoring team in the NBA and one that was far deeper. The Pacers won 130-109.

“I’m proud of what we were able to do this year and the way we fought," Brunson said. "Obviously, the outcome is not what we wanted.”

The Knicks got within a victory of reaching the conference finals for the first time since 2000, despite losing All-Star forward Julius Randle in January and key reserves Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic in the playoffs.

OG Anunoby strained his left hamstring after scoring a career playoff-high 28 points in Game 2. He missed the next four games before returning to start Sunday. But he was clearly limited and played just five minutes before he was removed for good.

“I was trying,” Anunoby said. “I couldn’t really sprint, I couldn’t really jump, but I wanted to try my best.”

He made both of his shots, but his defense, the strength of his game, wasn't there with his lack of movement. The Pacers could tell and used that to get open shots.

“I know it’s Game 7 and you want to give everything, but you’ve got to be healthy and I thought he didn’t look healthy out there,” said Pacers forward Pascal Siakam, a teammate of Anunoby's in Toronto.

Brunson had five 40-point games in the postseason but was struggling Sunday, going 6 for 17 for 17 points. He also had nine assists before leaving in the third quarter.

Josh Hart made it until fouling out in the fourth. He played despite an abdominal strain that forced him to leave Game 6 early.

“There’s only so much you can overcome,” teammate Donte DiVincenzo said. “But you can start from every single guy in this locker room, honestly, we’ll be here all day talking about each one of them, the way the guys stepped up this year, even in the playoffs … It’s not easy to do.”

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05/20/2024 00:07 -0400

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