The injury bug made the New York Knicks a victim once again as Jalen Brunson left the game during the second half of Game 7 on Sunday against the Indiana Pacers with a broken left hand.

New York entered the series without All-Star Julius Randle, losing Bojan Bogdanovic to a foot injury and Mitchell Robinson to left ankle stress. Despite leading the series 2-0, the Knicks felt the effects of their star players’ absences as the Pacers toyed with a depleted Knicks defense – resulting in a 35-point game from Tyrese Haliburton in Indiana’s game three win and a convincing Game 4 win. The two wins by Indiana tied the series at 2-2. Both teams split the next two games to bring the series to Madison Square Garden for Game 7.

Game 7 saw New York’s 2023-2024 campaign come to an abrupt end when Indiana cruised to a 130-109 victory due to a historic offensive performance – shooting 67.1% from the floor.

During the third quarter, Brunson experienced movement in his left hand after swiping at Haliburton. With over three minutes left in the third quarter, Brunson checked out and didn’t return to the court.

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“I thought I just jammed it, honestly,” Brunson said briefly. Brunson’s departure from Sunday’s game was a final nail in the coffin because it enabled the Pacers to take advantage of a thin Knicks bench, enabling them to control the game offensively.

“The pros, obviously, are I played well individually at some points in the playoffs. The cons are that I didn’t play well enough to move my team forward,” Brunson said, expressing frustration regarding the season’s end. “You can say I got hurt in Game 7. We had a 2-0 and a 3-2 lead; it’s just hard to look at things individually when you don’t help your team.” 

The Knicks’ 2023-2024 season saw Brunson finish fifth place in the NBA’s MVP voting and be in reach of a Conference Finals appearance – a feat the team hasn’t accomplished since 2000.

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