NEW YORK -- — Jalen Brunson left the locker room on an injured leg, walked onto the court, and sent the Madison Square Garden crowd into a frenzy, just as Willis Reed had exactly 54 years earlier.

As the roars turned into “MVP! MVP!” chants, Brunson tried to block out the pain in his body and the noise all around him as he warmed up at halftime.


“It was really cool to hear, but I just knew that I had to get my mind in the right place to figure out how I was going to attack the second half,” Brunson said.

He shook off his right foot injury to score 24 of his 29 points in the final two quarters, leading the New York Knicks to a 130-121 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night for a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

On the anniversary of Reed's dramatic emergence from the locker room before Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals to lead the Knicks to their first title, Brunson had missed the entire second quarter while the Pacers surged ahead to a double-figure lead.

Brunson fell short of becoming the second player in NBA history to score 40 or more points in five straight playoff games, but he gave the Knicks everything they needed to move halfway to their first Eastern Conference finals appearance since 2000.

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OG Anunoby added a career playoff-high 28 points before leaving with a left hamstring injury in the third quarter.

Former Knicks forward Obi Toppin added 20 points in another strong effort by Indiana’s reserves, but the Pacers hurt themselves by shooting just 10 for 17 (59%) from the free-throw line.

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LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

Gallery Credit: Peter Richman

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