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The Indiana Pacers end the New York Knicks' season in record-breaking fashion

Despite surviving several medical disasters, the New York Knicks' championship chances officially faded Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks' season is officially over as the Indiana Pacers took advantage of their shorthanded position and a stellar shooting performance from Tyrese Haliburton to claim a 130-109 victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Knicks' last attempt was wasted on a 39-point performance by Donte DiVincenzo, who sank nine three-pointers, setting a new individual NBA record for a Game 7.

Indiana, however, was more than capable of reaching and surpassing such a milestone: It took a historic performance in every sense of the word… and more metropolitan medical disasters… to end the Knicks' season: Indiana shot 67.1 percent from the field as a team, the best success rate in a single playoff game in NBA history. This broke a 34-year-old record set by the Boston Celtics against the Knicks in the opening round of the 1990s.

May 19, 2024;  New York, New York, USA;  New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) reacts during

May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) reacts during the / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Haliburton led the way with 26 points, hitting 10 of 16 from the floor. He was one of three pacers to reach 20, along with fellow starters Andrew Nembhard and Pascal Siakam (20 each).

This ends the Knicks' 2023-24 season, although the Eastern Conference Finals drought remains long-standing: New York hasn't played in the national semifinals since 2000 (ironically, a loss to the Pacers), extending the third-longest active drought in the league NBA season. Indiana, on the other hand, is returning to the Final Four for the first time since 2014.

The Knicks' finale was fittingly, if not macabrely, marked by further injury concerns.

New York seemed poised for a surge in Game 7 when the team announced that OG Anunoby and Josh Hart could join the contest. The former immediately thrilled the energized MSG crowd with five quick points, but clearly struggled in his first game back, having sat out the previous four due to hamstring problems. Anunoby only lasted five minutes before being replaced by Miles McBride and not returning.

The Pacers led by six points when Anunoby went out, and things only got worse from there: After the Knicks narrowed the gap to three, Haliburton scored 11 straight points to give himself a double-digit lead that proved durable enough proved to survive the half-time break.

Trailing 70-55 at halftime and unable to contain Indiana's hot shooting (although Alec Burks did what he could to keep the score as manageable as it was), the Knicks came back with a 7 :0 run over the game back in the first 2:27 of the second half. New York came within six, an attempt that revived a dormant MSG supporter, but the Pacers officially pulled away from the Knicks by extending their lead back to 19, finally silencing the arena and it allowed Knicks fans to officially start thinking about next season.

May 19, 2024;  New York, New York, USA;  New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) flexes his left hand

May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) flexes his left hand / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Brunson, who had already missed significant playing time in Game 2 with a foot injury, missed the dismal fourth period as he was forced to the locker room in the third period. The Knicks announced that he had broken his hand, an injury he likely sustained in the third period while trying to stop a Haliburton fastbreak after a turnover.

In addition to DiVincenzo's losing heroics, Burks capped an otherwise difficult season with 26 points on 8 of 13 shooting.

Indiana's reward is a best-of-seven set with the top-seeded Boston Celtics. Game 1 of the series is scheduled for Tuesday night at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

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Anna Harden

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