Brunson, Barrett help Knicks hold off Pacers, 119-113

NEW YORK (AP) — Jaylen Brunson scored 34 points to help the New York Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 119-113 on Wednesday night.

RJ Barrett added 27 points in his return from a finger injury that sidelined him six games, and Julius Randle had 14 points and 16 rebounds.

“I was trying to be aggressive,” Barrett said. “I’ve’ been working, I haven’t just been sitting down. I just wanted to find some sort of rhythm. I’m cool with giving it my all and living with the results.”

Buddy Hield led Indiana with 31 points.

After New York led by 25 points in the third quarter, Hield cut it to 105-103 with a 3-pointer with 3:10 left. Brunson countered for the Knicks, scoring the next seven points of the game.

“I think we stayed poised and finished out the game,” Brunson said. “We obviously want to keep a lead and win comfortably, but that team wasn’t going to quit. I have to give them a lot of credit. For us, we have to continue to hold leads better. Keep our foot on the gas with the lead. That is a work in progress for us. But, a win is a win.”

Hield’s four-point play with 1:22 remaining pulled the Pacers to 112-109. He had a chance to tie it on Indiana’s next possession, but his 3-pointer was off the mark.

Quentin Grimes’ 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining sealed it for the Knicks.

“Once he called my number I knew I had to be ready,” Grimes said. “And if the pass was coming to me I had to knock it down, and that’s what happened tonight.”

Grimes finished with 18 points, Immanuel Quickley had 11 and Mitchell Robinson had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 20 points for Indiana. Tyrese Haliburton, who left with a sore knee late in the third quarter and did not return, had 15.

“Our guys showed great competitive spirit in making an amazing run to cut it I think to two,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “As a coaching staff, we are really proud of our effort in the second half, particularly in the absence of a lot of our top players.”

TIP-INS:

Pacers: Indiana set a franchise record by hitting at least 10 3-pointers in its 19th straight game. … Carlisle coached Brunson in Dallas for three seasons (2018-21).

Knicks: New York is 11-11 at Madison Square Garden this season. It is the only team in the NBA with a winning record, but without a home mark above .500. … Randle is the only Knick to start all 42 games.

UP NEXT:

Pacers: Hosts Atlanta on Friday night.

Knicks: At Washington on Friday night.

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