Jalen Brunson set a Knicks franchise record as his 47 points and ten assists helped New York beat the Philadelphia 76ers 97-93 in Game 4 of the opening round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

OG Anunoby scored a critical 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Josh Hart scored four points, five assists and 15 rebounds, helping the Knicks take a 3-1 series lead. Joel Embiid scored 27 points and ten rebounds for the Sixers, but they shot only 35.4% as a team compared to 43% and a plus-10 rebounding advantage for New York. Philadelphia ended the game by missing its last 11 field goal attempts.

Brunson’s 47 points were a franchise playoff record for the Knicks, and he is the first player in team history to finish with at least 40 points and ten assists. He is also one of two players to be involved in at least 70 points in back-to-back playoff games, as he ended with 39 points and 13 assists in their Game 3 loss.

“Jalen’s a great player,” Anunoby said about Brunson after the game. You come to expect it. You expect him to make every shot. He’s a great player. Even when he was cold the first couple of games, you knew he would turn it around—just ’cause we see him every day.”

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The last two games’ scoring has been an extreme bounce back for Brunson, as in Games 1 and 2, he combined for 16/55 shooting. Since then, he’s combined for 86 points and 23 assists, and despite their bad start, throughout the series, he is averaging 28.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

As the heart and soul of the Knicks team this year, Brunson averaged a similar 28.7 points and 6.7 assists in the regular season as he led New York to a No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. It was the Knicks’ best regular season in over a decade, and Brunson was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. He signed a four-year $104 million deal with the team in 2022 after a successful campaign with the Dallas Mavericks, and since then, his value has only risen. When Brunson arrived with the Knicks, many questioned if he could be a team’s first option. Since then, he has become one of the most famous athletes in recent New York history.

“I think we learned that throughout the course of the season,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said after the win. “Jalen has played at such an incredible high level all season long, and we can play off that.”

The Knicks’ rebounding advantage was a critical factor in pulling out the win in Philadelphia, led by a combined 31 rebounds by Anunoby and Hart. New York grabbed seven offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter and only allowed two second-chance points from the Sixers. New York has six players averaging more than 10 points per game in the playoffs, including Anunoby, Miles McBride, Isaiah Hartenstein and Donte DiVincenzo. Hart also played a significant role for the team throughout the first four playoff games, as he was second on the team in points, with 21 per game, and first in rebounds, with 11.3 per game. Though only 6’4″, Hart has been playing power forward and has been dominant over Tobias Harris on the other end of the floor.

Though they had the lead at halftime and with only a few minutes remaining, Embiid and Philly’s chance to win the series just slipped away. After the game, Embiid said he was “disappointed” with the energy from home fans in Wells Fargo Center as the game neared an end.

“Disappointing,” Embiid said.”I love our fans. Think it’s unfortunate, and I’m not calling them out, but it is disappointing. Obviously, you got a lot of Knicks fans, and they’re down the road…I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been here for ten years. Yeah, it kind of pisses me off, especially because Philly is considered a sports town. They’ve always shown up and I don’t think that should happen. Yeah. It’s not ok.”

Embiid scored 50 in the Sixers only win of the season, while in their three losses this series he has averaged 30 points per game. Tyrese Maxey is the only other player for Philly to average more than 12 points per game, scoring 31 points per contest this postseason.

New York can wrap up the series and advance to the second round with a win in Game 4 on April 30 at Madison Square Garden.

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