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Knicks Fight Hard but Fall Short in Game 7

The Knicks came into Game 7 determined to secure a victory, with Josh Hart returning to the starting lineup after exiting early in the previous game and OG Anunoby, who missed four games, also back in action. Anunoby had a strong start, but the Pacers, showing no signs of weakness, outperformed the Knicks in terms of shooting efficiency.

Pacers Establish Early Lead Behind Stellar Shooting

After a timeout, both teams continued to play at a fast pace. Pascal Siakam was particularly impressive for the Pacers, hitting his first five shots, and a heated moment between Siakam and Donte DiVincenzo further fueled the intensity. Tyrese Haliburton then extended the Pacers’ lead with consecutive baskets, ending the first quarter with a commanding 39-27 lead.

Knicks Struggle to Keep Pace as Pacers Dominate Inside

In the second quarter, Alec Burks contributed with some three-pointers for the Knicks, but the Pacers relentlessly attacked the paint, especially with T.J. McConnell and Ben Sheppard making key plays. The Pacers extended their lead to 20 points despite Burks’ efforts to lead the Knicks’ offense.

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Knicks Attempt to Mount a Comeback

The Knicks faced challenges in their offensive flow, heavily relying on Burks for scoring and struggling defensively to contain the Pacers. Nonetheless, the Knicks’ backcourt duo of Jalen Brunson and DiVincenzo found some success attacking the basket, but they still trailed by 15 points at halftime.

Pacers Maintain Control Despite Knicks’ Efforts

Anunoby did not return to the court in the second half, but the Knicks fought harder, preventing the Pacers from scoring in the opening minutes and capitalizing on their own opportunities. However, the Pacers quickly regrouped, pushing their lead back to double digits.

Pacers Secure Victory, Advance to Eastern Conference Finals

Despite a strong effort by the Knicks to narrow the gap, the Pacers’ defense intensified, and they once again pulled ahead by a significant margin. Aaron Nesmith and McConnell provided crucial energy for the Pacers, while Haliburton’s outside shooting extended their lead to 17 points by the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, despite Brunson’s injury, the Knicks relied on DiVincenzo and Burks to lead their offense, but the Pacers responded each time the Knicks attempted to cut into the lead. With Hart fouling out with three minutes remaining, the Pacers maintained their high shooting percentage, ultimately securing a decisive 130-109 victory in Game 7.

The Pacers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 10 years, where they will face the top-seeded Boston Celtics. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals is scheduled for May 22nd at 8 AM Taiwan time.(Superace88)