How Each Knicks Starter Contributed to Improbable Game 2 Win

New York scored eight points in the final 27.1 seconds to stun the 76ers and take a 2-0 series lead.
Apr 22, 2024; New York, New York, USA;  New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates with
Apr 22, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Josh Hart (3) celebrates with / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Josh Hart

With Julius Randle out for the year and Jalen Brunson off to a slow start in the series, Josh Hart has emerged as the most important player for the Knicks in the early goings of the playoffs. Hart came out the gates on fire in Game 2, scoring 19 of his 21 points in the first half and shooting 4-for-5 from downtown.

Hart's three-point shooting has been a revelation in this series. After shooting 31% from beyond the arc during the regular season, Hart's had the hot hand so far in the playoffs, connecting on 53% of his deep balls against the 76ers.

Hart's rebounding has also been a major factor in this series. While he's always been aggressive on the boards (he averaged 8.3 rebounds during the regular season), he's risen to another level in the playoffs, averaging 14 rebounds across two games.

Along with efficient shooting and outstanding rebounding, Hart has made a big impact defensively, which was apparent in the final minute of Game 2. Hart stole the ball from Maxey on the inbounds pass that led to DiVincenzo's three-pointer, making him one of the many heroes of Monday's win.

OG Anunoby

Ever since the Knicks traded for OG Anunoby on December 30, they've been nearly unbeatable with him in the lineup. Including the playoffs, the Knicks are 22-3 when Anunoby plays, which is not just a coincidence. Anunoby's impact often doesn't show up in the box score, but his ability to guard every position on defense and space the floor on offense have been critical to New York's success.

Anunoby didn't do anything otherworldly in Monday's comeback win, but he hit two crucial free throws at the end of the game. Following Hartenstein's incredible block, Anunoby secured the rebound and was fouled with six seconds left. Only leading by one point, Anunoby needed to hit both attempts from the line to prevent the 76ers from winning on a potential three-pointer.

As he's done all season, Anunoby did exactly what the Knicks needed, sinking both attempts and capping off one of the most remarkable nights in recent memory for the Knicks.

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