Heartbroken Knicks fans still ‘proud’ of impressive season after Game 7 loss to Pacers

They did their hometown proud.

The New York Knicksheartbreaking Sunday loss dashed fans’ hopes of seeing their first championship in decades. But the team’s heroic effort throughout an epic season had attendees on their feet at the end of the 130-109 defeat against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden.

“They play with so much effort and so much heart. And that’s why the city loves this team,” IT consultant Brian Hopkins, 47, told the Daily News after the game.

“They may not be the very best team, but not a team in the league played harder,” added the fan, who was among those who gave the Knicks the standing ovation.

The conference semifinal series put the team tantalizingly within reach of their first NBA championship in 50 years.

“I’ve been a Knicks fan since I was born,” said Jeff Gusaeff, 56. “I think they ran out of stamina. They need to bring in another superstar.”

Gusaeff’s son, however, was happy to have traveled into the city from New Jersey to catch the game with his dad.

“I’m 22, [and] this is the furthest the Knicks have made it in my life,” said Austin Gusaeff. “We’ll be back.”

The team suffered a massive setback in the third quarter when star point guard Jalen Brunson suffered a fractured wrist as the Knicks were down 92-74.

Brunson, 27, scored at least 39 points in six of the Knicks’ 13 games this postseason and became an NBA All-Star for the first time earlier this year, when he set a record for most three-point shots made in a half without a miss.

“Everybody was injured,” Knicks fan Danny Cramer lamented. “I don’t feel very good right now. It was nice while it lasted.”

The blow was nothing new to the injury-ravaged team, with forward-center Julius Randle suffering a right shoulder injury in January during a game against the Miami Heat and sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanović undergoing season-ending foot and wrist surgery after colliding with Philadelphia 76ers forward Nicolas Batum.

“The injuries obviously set us back,” said Emory University student Silmi Jawani, 19. “But you know what they say. We’re New Yorkers. We don’t accept defeat.”

“We’re disappointed, but we’re very proud of them,” said another fan. “They worked hard.”

“Diehard” fan Drew Mlotkiewic, 31, echoed the sentiment.

“[The Knicks] have been an utter disaster for years,” he said. “So for them to do what they did this year, it was special.

“I love this team more than any Knicks team I’ve ever watched in my life,” Mlotkiewic added.

Fans left the Garden with high hopes for next season.

“We’re in a good spot to play in the finals next year — and they will, I think,” said Hopkins.