Brunson scores career playoff-high 47 points, leads Knicks over 76ers for 3-1 lead

Knicks moved within a victory of getting to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year.

Associated Press

Apr 28, 2024, 9:39 PM

Updated 25 days ago

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Jalen Brunson scored a career playoff-high 47 points, added 10 assists and the New York Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 97-92 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
OG Anunoby added 16 points and 14 rebounds, and took on some of the defensive assignment against Joel Embiid in the fourth quarter as the Knicks moved within a victory of getting to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year.
The No. 2-seeded Knicks can do that with a victory at home on Tuesday night.
Embiid played the entire second half after the 76ers faltered badly when he sat in the first. But the All-Star center, who has been dealing with lingering problems from his surgically repaired left knee that he appeared to reinjure after a dunk in Game 1, and was recently diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a form of facial paralysis, couldn't muster a basket in the fourth quarter.
Embiid finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Tyrese Maxey added 23 points for the 76ers, who will try to force another game at home, which would be Thursday.
Not that the 76ers had much of a home-court advantage Sunday. Knicks fans were all over the arena and gave Brunson louder chants of “MVP! MVP!” than Embiid — who won the award last season — received from the home fans.
Brunson earned every one of them on a day some of his usual support couldn't get going.
Josh Hart missed all seven shots and Donte DiVincenzo missed his first seven. But Hart grabbed 17 rebounds and the Knicks kept going after missed shots, especially when it was clear Embiid didn't have the energy to keep chasing them, and scored 21 second-chance points.
Brunson was in the locker room to start the fourth quarter but returned to hit a basket over Embiid during a 6-0 Knicks run that gave them the lead for good and made it 86-81. He had another basket that made it 95-89 with 55 seconds remaining and the Knicks closed it out.
Embiid scored 50 points, his postseason best, to lead the 76ers to a victory in Game 3, He had them off to a great start in Game 4 but Brunson soon became the dominant player on the floor, the first time All-Star finishing 18 of 34 from the field.
Brunson’s shot was off the in the two games in New York but whatever was working for the Sixers against in New York is gone now. The point guard had 39 on Thursday and was confidently getting to his spots in Game 4, looking like the player who was fourth in the NBA in scoring with 28.7 per game.
Embiid tried to keep pace. With 76ers Hall of Famers Julius Erving and Allen Iverson sitting behind the baseline, the Sixers’ current star showed how much the current Philadelphia team needs him on the floor. But without getting a rest he wilted late and finished 7 for 19.
Brunson had a 41-point game for Dallas against Utah in 2022 and another for the Knicks last year against Miami, but that one came in the Game 6 where the Knicks’ season ended.
He wouldn't let them lose Sunday and a crowd that seemed split between big Northeast cities had a decidedly Knicks sound down the stretch.
The Knicks played without backup center Mitchell Robinson because of a sprained left ankle, then lost reserve swingman Bojan Bogdanovic to a bruised left ankle after Nicolas Batum fell on him chasing a loose ball after barely a minute of playing time.
So the Knicks relied on the guys they had, with Anunoby playing 47 minutes, Hart 46 and Brunson 43.
The 76ers led by 10 after one quarter. But Philadelphia couldn’t get anything going offensively with Embiid on the bench to start the second and New York capitalized.
The Knicks held the 76ers without a field goal while outscoring them 12-2 to begin the period, with Brunson’s basket shortly after Embiid returned tying it at 29. Maxey hit a 3-pointer for Philadelphia’s first basket of the period nearly halfway through it, but five consecutive points by Brunson moved New York back into the lead at 34-32.
The 76ers regained the lead and were ahead 49-47 at halftime.
Philadelphia went up by double digits again in the third before a couple bad turnovers halted their momentum and DiVincenzo finally got going with consecutive 3-pointers.


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