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Donte DiVincenzo questions Pacers' toughness after heated Game 5

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The Eastern Conference Semifinals series between the Pacers and Knicks is hitting on all elements of nostalgia that the matchup once delivered NBA fans. 

The above especially held true in a pivotal Game 5 of the series.

It’s not a carbon copy of 1990s basketball but the trash talk and physicality have continued to ramp up as the series progresses. And with the series back at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks brought the fight and pulled away for a 30-point win to move one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals.

With several Knicks legends in attendance
, New York and Indiana’s matchup got heated and some players needed to be separated during multiple dustups. In the middle of it all was Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo.

Here’s a look back at what transpired. 

MORE: Jalen Brunson’s Game 5 stats put him alongside LeBron James in NBA history

In the first half, Pacers forward Isaiah Jackson set an illegal screen on DiVincenzo, drawing the ire of Knicks veterans Isaiah Hartenstein and Alec Burks. 

Jackson’s screen leveled DiVincenzo, who immediately hopped up to hype the home fans. Three technical fouls were assessed — Jackson, Hartenstein and Burks each received one for their roles while DiVincenzo was not punished.

DiVincenzo would again find himself in the middle of things in the second half.

After DiVincenzo energized the crowd with a putback dunk, he was met by a hard screen from Pacers center Myles Turner. DiVincenzo, clearly displeased, got into it with Turner, who needed to be restrained as both parties exchanged choice words.

In response, the MSG responded with chants of “DiVincenzo,” adding to the 27-year-old’s status as a playoff hero in Knicks lore. If his status wasn’t already solidified, DiVincenzo did so with his assessment of the situation after the game.

“They’re trying to be tough guys,” DiVincenzo said of his opponents. “That’s not their identity and there’s nothing more to that. I just don’t agree with trying to walk up to somebody that you weren’t going to fight anyway.

“Take the foul, keep it moving. You’re not a tough guy, just keep it moving.”

DiVincenzo and the Knicks are now one win away from the franchise’s first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2000. Based on what went down in Game 5, New York will look to bring the toughness.

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