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Knicks' Tom Thibodeau: OG Anunoby's Injury 'No Excuse' for Game 4 Loss to Pacers

Paul Kasabian

The Indiana Pacers crushed the New York Knicks 121-89 on Sunday to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.

Afterward, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters that the absence of wing OG Anunoby, who has been out for the past two games with a left hamstring strain, is "no excuse" for the Knicks' struggles.

It's no secret that the Knicks are a far better team with Anunoby, who was acquired via trade from the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 30.

Unfortunately, Anunoby has suffered numerous injuries—including a right elbow ailment during the regular season—that have limited his availability.

Anunoby was available for the Knicks' first seven playoff games. In that span, New York beat the Philadelphia 76ers four games to one in the first round before taking the first two games versus Indiana. Anunoby suffered the hamstring injury during Game 2 against Indiana as he was going up for a layup.

For the season, the 26-year-old has averaged 14.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals for the Knicks.

The Knicks have been without All-Star forward Julius Randle since January due to a dislocated right shoulder.

Bojan Bogdanović has been out since Game 4 of the Knicks' first-round series and won't return for the remainder of the year after undergoing wrist and foot surgeries.

Mitchell Robinson is out for six to eight weeks with a stress injury to his left ankle. Anunoby hasn't started running yet in his recovery from the hamstring injury, Thibodeau told reporters Sunday. Compounding matters, Jalen Brunson is playing through a sore right foot.

Perhaps this has all taken its toll on a tired and shorthanded group that seemingly, and understandingly, lacked energy in the Game 4 loss. But Brunson isn't making excuses.

The only good news for the Knicks is that they still hold homecourt advantage and haven't lost the series lead. It's a best-of-three series at this point, with the Knicks and Pacers now returning to New York for Game 5 on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

   

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