NBA playoffs

Jalen Brunson, Knicks top Cavaliers to seize 3-1 series lead


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Jalen Brunson, Knicks top Cavaliers to seize 3-1 series lead

NEW YORK STAR. Jalen Brunson roars after a big shot for the Knicks.

Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Knicks are a win away from advancing past the first round of the NBA playoffs for the first time in a decade as they lean on Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson poured in 29 points and RJ Barrett supplied 26 as the host New York Knicks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 102-93, in Game 4 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series on Sunday, April 23 (Monday, April 24, Manila time).

With the victory, New York seized a 3-1 lead in the series, which heads back to Cleveland on Wednesday for Game 5.

Brunson made 11 of 22 shots and added 6 rebounds and 6 assists, while Barrett went 9-for-18 from the field. Josh Hart chipped in 19 points for the Knicks, who outrebounded the Cavaliers 47-33.

Darius Garland finished with a team-high 23 points and a game-high 10 assists for Cleveland, which canned 36 of 77 (46.8%) shots overall, including 6 of 23 (26.1%) from beyond the arc.

Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert each had 14 points, while star guard Donovan Mitchell was held to just 11 on 5-for-18 shooting. He scored just 2 points in the second half.

After Cleveland’s Cedi Osman sank a free throw to make it 75-75 with 9:48 left in the game, the Knicks fed off a raucous home crowd, putting together a 15-6 surge to go up by 9.

Brunson effectively sealed the victory when he drained a three-pointer from the top of the key with 1:45 remaining.

The Knicks shot slightly worse than Cleveland overall at 38-of-84 (45.2%), but they made 8 of 29 three-pointers (27.6 percent), including five by Brunson.

Cleveland came out of halftime with a vengeance, opening the second half on a 14-5 run to tie things at 59-59. The visitors eventually took their first lead of the game with 6:27 left in the third quarter when Allen threw down an alley-oop dunk to make it 63-61.

New York managed to keep things close, though, and took a 73-71 lead into the final period after Brunson nailed a three-pointer with 6.2 seconds left in the third.

Brunson scored 5 points and Mitchell Robinson converted a three-point play as part of a 10-2 run that allowed the Knicks to open up a 15-point advantage with 5:17 left in the second quarter.

The Cavaliers then scored 14 of the final 22 points of the first half to pull within 54-45 by the break.

Brunson led all first-half scorers with 16 points, while Evan Mobley paced Cleveland with 10. –

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