Brunson's 4th straight 40-point game lifts Knicks

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NEW YORK — Jalen Brunson scored 43 points, becoming the fourth player in NBA history with four straight 40-point games in the postseason, and the New York Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 121-117 on Monday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Brunson had 21 in the fourth quarter, rallying the Knicks after they trailed by nine early in the period, and joined Hall of Famers Jerry West, who had six consecutive 40-point games in the postseason, Michael Jordan and Bernard King (both with four).

Donte DiVincenzo hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 39 seconds remaining and scored 25 for the Knicks, who opened the second round with the type of close finish that their first-round victory over Philadelphia was full of.

Josh Hart had a playoff career-high 24 points and added 13 rebounds and eight assists as the No. 2-seeded Knicks pushed ahead toward Game 2 on Wednesday.

Myles Turner scored 23 points for the sixth-seeded Pacers, who got strong play from their bench and were in good shape to follow their first-round ouster of Milwaukee by jumping to the lead against the Knicks.

But Brunson guided New York through another tight finish, after it outscored Philadelphia by one total point over six games in the first round.

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