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Jalen Brunson’s Heroic Performance In Game 2 Validates Knicks’ Reputation For Toughness

jalen-brunson

Tom Thibodeau sensed immediately that something wasn’t right. Jalen Brunson, known for his resilience, made an unusual move by signaling to the bench that he needed to come out of the game with 3:35 left in the first quarter.

Just moments later, Brunson was heading back to the locker room after feeling something off in his right foot while defending T.J. McConnell’s drive. He couldn’t pinpoint the issue precisely, only describing it as discomfort.

When Brunson left the game, the Knicks were leading the Indiana Pacers by nine points. However, his absence raised questions among his teammates, with Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart among those wondering where he had gone.

At halftime, with the Knicks trailing by 10, Brunson’s return to the court ignited the crowd at Madison Square Garden. Fans erupted with chants of “M-V-P” as he tested his foot and shot free throws, boosting the team’s morale.

The Knicks dominated the second half, securing a 130-121 victory over the Pacers and taking a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Brunson’s stellar performance, with 29 points on 11-for-18 shooting, was instrumental in the win.

Despite questions about his injury, Brunson remained focused on the game, deflecting inquiries about his condition and emphasizing that he was “all good.”

Although Brunson initially seemed hampered early in the third quarter, he regained his rhythm and delivered a barrage of jump shots that helped seal the victory for the Knicks.

However, the game wasn’t without its setbacks for the Knicks, as OG Anunoby left with a hamstring injury, adding to the team’s injury woes with Mitchell Robinson already sidelined for the playoffs.

The Knicks’ resilience was evident as they weathered defensive lapses but capitalized on ball control and dominance on the boards to unsettle the Pacers.

Amidst the challenges, Brunson’s presence proved pivotal in guiding the team to victory, reminiscent of Willis Reed’s legendary performance in Game 7 of the finals 54 years earlier.

As Josh Hart referenced Reed in the locker room after the game, Brunson’s return will undoubtedly be remembered as a significant moment in Knicks history.

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