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For a guy who shot 0-for-7, turned the ball over five times, committed five fouls and missed half of his free throw attempts, Josh Hart had a marvelous game on Sunday.

Typically, a statement like this is followed by a reference to the intangibles that Hart brings to the New York Knicks, the energy and leadership and subtle stuff that doesn't show up in the box score. But much of what Hart brought did show up in the box score. He pulled down 17 rebounds, five of them on the offensive glass. He dished five assists, blocked three shots and played 46 minutes in a 97-92 win against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of their first-round series. 

"Josh was unbelievable," New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. 

It would have been nice if Hart had again made four 3s -- as he had in each of the three preceding games, after not once hitting that mark all regular season -- or at least not regressed to the mean this sharply, but the Knicks didn't need his scoring this time. Jalen Brunson dropped 47 points, OG Anunoby was more aggressive than usual and Miles McBride gave them just enough juice off the bench for them to eke out the victory and put Philadelphia on the brink of elimination. 

It was enough because the Knicks held the Sixers to 101.1 points per 100 possessions at Wells Fargo Center and 76.2 per 100 in the fourth quarter. (For reference, the league's least efficient offense, Memphis, scored 106.8 per 100 during the regular season.) That doesn't happen without Hart.

"Josh was everywhere," Thibodeau said. "And he was the trigger. He was the trigger of the defense."

Hart, who stands 6-foot-4, may not be the first player to come to mind when you think of rim protection. Early in the fourth quarter, though, he zoomed from the right block (where he was in help position to deter Joel Embiid from driving) to the left side of the rim, where he rejected Nicolas Batum's dunk and forced a turnover. Shortly after that, Hart blocked Tobias Harris at the rim and started a fast break.

A week earlier, in between Hart's 13-rebound performance in the series opener and his 15-rebound performance in Game 2, a reporter asked Batum what made Hart so good on the offensive glass. "I don't know," Batum said. "If he's got a secret, give it to me, please." Only three players have a higher rebounding average than Hart in the playoffs, and they're all centers: Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic and Jarrett Allen.

Hart rebounded his own missed free throw on Sunday. He prevented a putback dunk by boxing out big man Paul Reed. Late in the third quarter, he created an open 3 for Donte DiVincenzo before hitting the ground.

"I mean, I had to do something," Hart said, referencing his turnovers and poor shooting. "Offensively it just wasn't there today, but when you have that, you have to try to figure out ways to still make an impact in the game. And for me, that was rebounding and pushing; offensive rebounding, trying to get extra possessions. I looked athletic on a couple of blocks, so that was nice."

Thibodeau never basks in victories, but he does seem to take a certain pride in the grimier ones. Following Game 4, he praised the team for its fight after falling behind by 12 points in the first quarter. "We need everyone just hustling like crazy," Thibodeau said. This is Hart's specialty. In the game's opening minute, he picked up Embiid in transition, fronted him and deflected the ball out of bounds. In its 47th minute, he took away Maxey's driving lane, then closed out perfectly on Harris' corner 3. 

Anunoby's defense against Embiid will be the bigger storyline entering Tuesday's Game 5, but, when Thibodeau was asked about Anunoby's ability to defend up and down the positional spectrum, he made a point of saying that "the same could be said for Josh." In the game that gave New York a 3-1 lead, Hart started off chasing Maxey around, then spent plenty of time protecting the paint. And when Oubre decided to challenge him one-on-one, it didn't end well for the Sixers: 

When the Knicks try to end the series at Madison Square Garden, they'll hope to have the version of Hart that was knocking down 3s and making Philadelphia pay for leaving him open. For years, though, Thibodeau has repeatedly said in press conferences that "you don't have to shoot well to play well." This is true all the time when it comes to Hart; on Sunday, he just took it to an extreme.