NBA Notes: Knicks, Jalen Brunson, Pacers, Tyrese Haliburton, Bucks


All-Star guard Jalen Brunson scored 24 of his 29 points after returning from a right foot injury and lifting the Knicks to a 130-121 win over the Pacers on Wednesday. New York now leads the second-round NBA playoff series, 2-0.Jalen Brunson, New York Knicks, NBA

Brunson scored all but five of his points in the second half. “I was going to give it a go no matter what,” he told reporters.

Interestingly, the game fell on the exact date that legendary injured center Willis Reed emerged from the locker room before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to lead the Knicks to their first championship.

  • On the downside, forward OG Anunoby exited with a hamstring injury after scoring a career-playoff-high 28 points. As if the Knicks didn’t have enough injuries to worry about.
  • Brunson was short in his response about his foot. “I’m all good,” he told NBA reporters. “And that’s it.”
  • As for the win, Brunson told Chris Haynes of TNT: “We found a way. That’s it” 
  • Wrote Kurt Helin of NBC Sports: “Brunson returned for the start of the second half and the Knicks went on a 21-4 run — New York was back in front five minutes into the third and never surrendered that lead again.”


Coach Rick Carlisle was less than thrilled with what he — and many Pacers fans — viewed as questionable calls, again, in New York.

Carlisle said Indiana didn’t submit any complaints to the league office after Game 1, but that is likely to change after Game 2.

“Small market teams deserve an equal shot,” he told NBA reporters. “They deserve a fair shot. No matter where they’re playing.”

  • Carlisle was tossed for receiving two technicals. ‘We love Rick and love him showing that energy,” guard T.J. McConnell said, via Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star.
  • Guard Tyrese Haliburton didn’t blame the officiating for the loss. “They outplayed us. Let’s not pretend like the refs are the reason we lost,” he said. “We just got to be better” 
  • Haliburton pointed to the rebounding (the Knicks won that battle, 44-34). “They were getting every one of their misses,” he said. “We just didn’t rebound as well as we needed to.”


  • Forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo will need to undergo surgery after suffering a torn Achilles, per multiple reports. The older brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to be out indefinitely, perhaps into next season.
  • Guard Patrick Beverley is entering free agency but told reporters his preference would be to stay with the Bucks. “Obviously, I want to stay with Milwaukee, you know,” he said. “I want to see what goes here. I played well enough in the playoffs to [receive] a little bump. You know, that’s the business side of it, so whatever happens with that happens. I loved playing in Milwaukee. Milwaukee was fire.”

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