NBA: Brunson and the Knicks recover and crush the Pacers

The New York Knicks beat the Indiana basketball team by 121 to 91 points, leaving them just one victory away from going to the Eastern Conference finals.

(AFP) Jalen Brunson returned to his best this Tuesday as the New York Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers 121-91, taking a 3-2 lead in their fifth game of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the NBA.

A victory Friday night in Indianapolis would allow the Knicks to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 24 years.

After losing the fourth game by 32 points, the Knicks' response was overwhelming, with Brunson accumulating 44 points, seven assists and four rebounds.

"He's willing to share everything with his teammates and, to me, that's the best thing about him," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

The Knicks destroyed Indiana in the paint, with Isaiah Hartenstein leading the way with 17 rebounds (12 offensive), while Josh Hart had 11 rebounds (nine defensive).

Brunson's impact had been limited in the last two games of the series, with concerns that his heavy workload and a foot injury may have slowed him down.

But there were no signs of fatigue in his prolific performance, as he reached the 40-point mark for the fifth time this postseason.

Brunson, who had scored just 18 points in Sunday's loss, shot 18 of 35 and scored 28 points in the first half, a Knicks playoff record. It was his seven straight points, including a three-pointer to open a 20-point lead at 106-86, that secured the victory.

The Pacers started strong and took a 25-20 lead before the Knicks went on an 11-0 run to end the first quarter 38-32 up. At halftime, the score was 69-54 and the New Yorkers were not willing to let the advantage slip away.

Pascal Siakam led Indiana's scoring with 22 points.

Later, the Minnesota Timberwolves face the defending champion Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of their 2-2 Western Conference semifinal.