Knicks win over Pacers in Game 1 of Eastern Conference semis
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Knicks win over Pacers in Game 1 of Eastern Conference semis

NEW YORK — Jalen Brunson scored 43 points, becoming the fourth player in NBA history with four straight 40-point games in the postseason, and the New York Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 121-117 on Monday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Brunson had 21 in the fourth quarter, rallying the Knicks after they trailed by nine early in the period, and joined Hall of Famers Jerry West, who had six consecutive 40-point games in the postseason, and Michael Jordan and Bernard King (both with four).

Donte DiVincenzo hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 39 seconds remaining and scored 25 for the Knicks, who opened the second round with the type of close finish that their first-round victory over Philadelphia was full of. Josh Hart added a playoff career-high 24 points and added 13 rebounds and eight assists.

The No. 2-seeded Knicks will host Game 2 on Wednesday.

Myles Turner scored 23 points for the sixth-seeded Pacers, who got strong play from their bench and were in good shape to follow their first-round ouster of Milwaukee by jumping to the lead against the Knicks.

TIMBERWOLVES 106, NUGGETS 80

DENVER — Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns powered Minnesota’s blitz of Denver that gave the Timberwolves a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals over the reigning but reeling NBA champions.

Towns and Edwards both scored 27 points as the Wolves improved to 6-0 in the playoffs and gave themselves a chance to close out the fuming Nuggets with wins Friday night and Sunday in Minneapolis.

So dominant were the Wolves that they had the Nuggets throwing both fits (Michael Malone) and objects onto the court (Jamal Murray).

Aaron Gordon led Denver with 20 points, Nikola Jokic had 16 points and 16 rebounds but their third-leading scorer was sub Justin Holliday with 13 points. Murray scored 8 points on 3-of-18 shooting. (AP)

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