Home Sports NBA Playoffs: Pacers lock down Knicks to force Game 7

NBA Playoffs: Pacers lock down Knicks to force Game 7

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New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) drives to the basket past Indiana Pacers forward Obi Toppin, left, during the first half of Game 6 in a second-round basketball playoff series of the NBA, on Friday, May 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Indiana Pacers will get a Game 7 against the New York Knicks.

Behind a close defensive effort and 25 points from Pascal Siakam, Indiana defeated the Knicks 116-103 in Game 6 on Friday to send the series back to New York. The winner-take-all game is scheduled for Monday at 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC).

It will be the first Game 7 in Madison Square since 1995, when the Knicks lost to the Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Friday was largely a case of the Pacers’ usual suspects doing what they needed to survive in front of the home crowd. Siakam led the way on 11-of-21 shooting plus seven rebounds and five assists, while Tyrese Haliburton had 15 points and nine assists. TJ McConnell once again made the difference off the bench, scoring 15 points.

Myles Turner also did this:

Then Obi Toppin did this:

Indiana really shined on defense, especially limiting Jalen Brunson, who entered Friday averaging 33.9 points per game this postseason. Brunson still managed to score 31 points, but was only 8 of 22 from the field entering the fourth quarter. New York did everything they could to get him to leave, but the Pacers kept him off balance until garbage time.

Adding to the Knicks’ problems was starting guard Josh Hart, who left the game in the fourth quarter with abdominal pain. New York hopes he can be 100% for Game 7, as does one other player.

As the series returns to New York, the biggest x-factor is a player who hasn’t appeared since Game 2.

Knicks guard OG Anunoby has been out since suffering a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter of Game 2, but his return is reportedly a possibility on Sunday. He can’t come back soon enough for the Knicks, who won both games Anunoby played in and have since lost three of four.

The Knicks acquired Anunoby at the trade deadline, a move that strengthened their rotation and helped make them one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The team went 20-3 in games Anunoby played, but elbow surgery sidelined him for much of the second half.

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