Only fitting that Josh Hart's redemption shot delivers Knicks' decisive blow vs. 76ers in playoffs

After 292 minutes of basketball played over 13 days, the Knicks and Sixers had scored the exact same total number of points. 653-653.

If they played for another 300 minutes, New York and Philadelphia probably would have remained close to even.

But the Knicks found separation late in their Game 6 win from a most unlikely source.

Josh Hart had hit just 31 percent of his 3-point shots in the regular season. After a strong start to the series from three, Hart had cooled off. He’d missed 11 of his last 13 attempts when he got the ball with 34 seconds left in regulation on Thursday.

But Jalen Brunson didn’t hesitate to pass the ball to him. And Hart didn’t hesitate to shoot.

When the ball went through, the sizeable contingent of Knicks fans at Wells Fargo Center exploded.

The shot was the decisive blow in a 12-round fight between the Sixers and Knicks. And it fittingly was redemption for Hart, who had missed a free throw late in regulation of the Knicks’ collapse against Philadelphia in Game 5.

“I felt that loss was on my shoulders,” Hart said late Thursday night. “So I had a day and a half to think about that, and that’s all I really thought about….So it feels good. After I lost a game for us, I was able to win a game for us.”

The shot won a series for the Knicks. It propelled them to the second round for the second straight season, something no Knick team had done in 24 years. And it was yet another big postseason three from Hart.

His 3-pointer late in Game 1 of the club’s first-round series against Cleveland last year set the tone for that series. His perimeter shooting was key for the Knicks in their wins in Games 1 and 2 in this series.

“I don’t know what it is about him,” Tom Thibodeau said late Thursday night. “…I always have the belief that when it’s a big shot, it’s going in.”

Hart — who tallied 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists — delivered on Thursday night in a way that he couldn’t late in Game 5. He found redemption and the Knicks now find themselves in the second round again. This is where their season ended last year: a six-game series loss to the Miami Heat.

Can they write a different ending this time against the Indiana Pacers? We’ll find out starting on Monday when New York hosts Obi Toppin and Indiana at Madison Square Garden.

No matter how things play out over the next 10 days or so, it’s fair to assume that Hart will make some big, impactful plays along the way.