NBA playoffs: The New York Knicks face the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals

The New York Knicks will face the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals after both advanced through the first round of the NBA playoffs.

The Knicks, second in the East, won 118-115 in Philadelphia to secure a 4-2 series victory over the 76ers.

The Milwaukee Bucks welcomed Damian Lillard back after he missed the previous two games with an Achilles tendon injury, but they were unable to extend their series with Indiana to a playoff.

The sixth-seeded Pacers won 120-98 in Indianapolis to pull off a 4-2 upset of third-seeded Milwaukee, the 2021 champions.

Although Lillard returned for the Bucks, fellow star Giannis Antetokounmpo remained out as the two-time MVP did not play a role in the series due to a calf injury.

The Pacers begin their best-of-seven series on Monday at the Knicks in New York.

After setting a franchise playoff record as the Knicks took a 3-1 series lead, Jalen Brunson shined again, scoring a game-high 41 points to give his team its second win in three visits to Philadelphia secured.

He contributed 12 assists, including one from Josh Hart, who hit a three-pointer with 25.6 seconds left to give the visitors the lead for good, 114-111.

“We knew it was going to be tough, we just found ways to win,” Brunson, 27, said.

“Every situation is different and we have to approach it with the same mentality. No matter who is in front of us, we will attack them.”

Despite Lillard's game-high 28 points upon his return from injury, Milwaukee trailed for most of the contest, with Obi Toppin scoring 21 points and TJ McConnell adding 20, helping Indiana reach the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time in 10 years.

Bucks veteran Patrick Beverley showed his frustration by throwing a ball at some fans behind his team's bench, hitting a spectator, and after they threw it back, he threw the ball again into the crowd.

“Not fair at all” he said on X,, external formerly Twitter. “Exchanged all night between a fan and our ball club. We warned all night and asked for help.”

When interviewed by reporters in the locker room,, external Beverley refused to take questions from a reporter because she “doesn't subscribe to his podcast” and then asked her to leave the group.

Anna Harden

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