Knicks take a 3-1 series lead over the 76ers behind Brunson's 47 points in 97-92 win

New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson grimaces as he walks off the court after the third quarter of Game 4 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Philadelphia.
New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson grimaces as he walks off the court after the third quarter of Game 4 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Philadelphia. AP Photo

PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Brunson scored a career playoff-high 47 points, added 10 assists and the New York Knicks beat the Philadelphia 76ers 97-92 on Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

OG Anunoby added 16 points and 14 rebounds, and took on some of the defensive assignment against Joel Embiid in the fourth quarter as the Knicks moved within a victory of getting to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year.

The No. 2-seeded Knicks can do that with a victory at home on Tuesday night.

Embiid played the entire second half after the 76ers faltered badly when he sat in the first. But the All-Star center, who has been dealing with lingering problems from his surgically repaired left knee that he appeared to reinjure after a dunk in Game 1, and was recently diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a form of facial paralysis, couldn’t muster a basket in the fourth quarter.

Embiid finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Tyrese Maxey added 23 points for the 76ers, who will try to force another game at home, which would be Thursday.

CLIPPERS 116, MAVERICKS 111

DALLAS — Paul George and James Harden each scored 33 points while playing key fourth-quarter roles to help Los Angeles hold on after blowing a 31-point lead and beat Dallas, evening the first-round series at 2-2.

The Clippers won again without Kawhi Leonard, who missed the series opener with right knee inflammation before playing in the two Dallas victories.

The teams have split a pair on each other’s home court in the third Western Conference first-round meeting between them in the past five seasons. Game 5 is Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

Kyrie Irving scored 40 points for Dallas, including an acrobatic layup with 2:15 remaining for a 104-103 lead that was the first for the Mavericks since the middle of the first quarter.

Luka Doncic had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his fourth career playoff triple-double — all against the Clippers.

George scored 26 points in the first half, when the Clippers’ lead reached 55-24 on a 3-pointer by Harden. The high-scoring stars combined to go 11 of 16 from long range as LA finished 18 of 29 overall.

PACERS 126, BUCKS 113

INDIANAPOLIS — Myles Turner scored 29 points, Tyrese Haliburton added 24 and Indiana made a franchise playoff record 22 3-pointers as they pulled away late for a victory over Milwaukee.

The win gave the Pacers a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Indiana has won three straight since losing the opener and can reach the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time since 2014 — with a win Tuesday at Milwaukee.

Indiana is 7-2 this season against the Bucks, who are trying to avoid a second straight first-round exit.

Haliburton posted a career playoff scoring high for the second straight game while Turner matched a playoff career high that he set in Friday night’s overtime win. Turner also had nine rebounds and four assists against a Bucks squad that was missing two injured All-Stars, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard.

It’s unclear if either will be available in Game 5. Antetokounmpo hasn’t played since straining his left calf April 9. Lillard injured his Achilles tendon Friday night and had a protective walking boot covering his right foot this weekend.

Brook Lopez led the Bucks with 27 points and nine rebounds, and Khris Middleton added 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

TIMBERWOLVES 122, SUNS 116

PHOENIX — Anthony Edwards scored 40 points, Karl-Anthony Towns added 28 and Minnesota pulled away late to beat Phoenix and sweep the first-round playoff series.

Edwards scored 31 of his points in the second half and finished 13 of 23 from the field, including 7 of 13 from 3-point range. Continuing his ascent into superstardom, the 22-year-old threw down a powerful, one-handed jam to give Minnesota a 115-111 lead with 2:14 left.

Phoenix would never recover.

The Wolves finished off the Suns despite Devin Booker’s 49 points on 13 of 21 shooting. He also made 20 of 21 free throws. Kevin Durant added 33, but the rest of the team struggled.

Minnesota won despite coach Chris Finch leaving the game late in the fourth after an inadvertent collision with Wolves guard Mike Conley.

It was a tight fourth quarter and the Suns tied it at 107 on Royce O’Neale’s 3-pointer with 4:30 remaining. Edwards and Jaden McDaniels hit back-to-back corner 3s to put the Wolves up 113-109 with 3:20 left.

The Wolves now wait to see if they will face the Denver Nuggets or Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. (AP)

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