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PHILADELPHIA -- Jalen Brunson received MVP chants on the road, broke the New York Knicks' 40-year-old franchise record for points in a playoff game and led his team to a win that put them up 3-1 in their first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Afterward, though, he had no interest in celebrating any of it.

He'll happy to let Knicks fans do that.

"I'll look back when I retire," Brunson said. "Seriously, this is -- it's great right now. It helped us get a win, but it's not going to do anything for us going forward." 

Brunson said that, when the buzzer sounded on the Knicks' 97-92 win in Game 4 on Sunday, he had no idea that history had been made. His 47 points (on 18-of-34 shooting) topped Bernard King's previous franchise playoff high (46) set in 1984.

"Yeah, it's pretty cool," Brunson said. "But unless [King] comes back and helps us win next game …" 

Brunson laughed then reiterated that the record is not relevant to him right now: "I promise you, I'll think about it later."

In 43 minutes, Brunson scored one more point than he did in the series' first two games combined, and he did it on 21 fewer field goal attempts. Including the 23 points on which he assisted, Brunson's playmaking accounted for 72% of the Knicks' points Sunday.

"We needed it," said forward Josh Hart, who had the best 0-for-7, five-foul, five-turnover performance one could imagine. "Shit, his starting small forward, power forward -- whatever the hell I am -- ain't make a shot. I was like Shaq at the free throw line. So, we needed it."

New York won at Wells Fargo Center despite shooting 7 of 27 from 3-point range (25.9%) and 16 of 26 from the free throw line (61.5%). The Knicks despite Brunson's teammates collectively scoring 40 points on 36.5% shooting. That doesn't mean Brunson did all the work himself -- down the stretch, the Knicks owned the glass and shut down Joel Embiid defensively while keeping the Sixers completely discombobulated on offense -- but it does make for a tidy contrast with their first two victories. 

Six days earlier, after going up 2-0 in the series, Brunson was trying not to dwell on his individual performance after being held in check for the second straight game. Philadelphia had thrown bigger, longer defenders at him, packed the paint and generally succeeded in taking him out of his comfort zone.

After the two games at Madison Square Garden, it was clear that New York needed to make Brunson's life easier. He'd missed lots of shots that he can make, but he hadn't gotten many open ones. When he went downhill on the pick-and-roll, he'd almost always have Kelly Oubre Jr., Nicolas Batum or Tobias Harris trailing him and contesting from behind. "They've done a great job all series just pursuing the ball," Brunson said Sunday, noting that he had to figure out "where I can be effective and how I can keep myself on balance, keep them off balance."

The tough, contested 2s in tight spaces are fine as a last resort, but they're not a huge part of any healthy shot diet.

Less than 2 minutes into Game 4, Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein screened Harris out of the picture, and Brunson made a pull-up jumper. On his team's next offensive possession, Brunson found another clean look off a pick-and-roll with Hartenstein, thanks in part to a miscommunication between Oubre and Embiid. A couple of possessions later, Hartenstein screened Brunson open well behind the 3-point line, and the 27-year-old All-Star knocked down a pull-up 3.

"I think that was that was the biggest emphasis after the first two games: just trying to get him open more," Hartenstein said. "So, I think I've been doing a good job just trying to get him easier looks and then, especially at the end of the game, he's kind of in a rhythm and then he can maybe hit more of those ISO shots that he's been hitting late."

If you ask Hartenstein, it's his responsibility to create space for Brunson to do his thing. If you ask Brunson, you get a different answer. Both have been in problem-solving mode for the past week.

"Yeah, constant communication, making sure that we're always on the same page," Brunson said. "The bigs, they've been doing a great job doing what they're supposed to do. It's on me to create space; it's on me to come off with speed. I can't ask them to hold the screen, set the screen -- that's when it gets tricky, where a ref might call offensive [foul] or a moving screen or whatever. But I had to just set my man up, make sure he hits the screen, create space and then attack from there." 

When he's at his best, like he was Sunday, it looks like there are no answers for Brunson. He patiently seeks out matchups he likes, baits defenders into leaving their feet, finds ways to get to the free throw line and makes the kinds of shots that demoralize opponents.

In the fourth quarter, almost immediately after returning from the locker room -- he banged knees with Kyle Lowry on the last possession of the third quarter but said postgame that he's "all good" -- Brunson isolated against Embiid. Late in the shot clock, without an advantage, the 6-foot-2 guard rattled in a wrong-footed floater over the 7-footer. 

It was simultaneously shocking and unsurprising as Brunson has bailed out New York on countless possessions. 

"It's huge for us," Hart said. "That's something that we need. Sometimes, we don't always play the fastest. So, if we get down in those late-clock situations, we need him to be able to create for not just himself but for other people. And he's able to use the angles that he gets to his advantage." 

Hart said that Brunson "wasn't himself" at the beginning of the series, and the Knicks need to continue "finding him ways to get clean looks, making sure we're screening." It is fortunate that they were able to get a couple of wins before Brunson got going, but they prefer playing this way.

"That's our engine," Hart said.