Pacers rout Knicks 93-82 to take 3-1 series lead
Associated Press in Indianapolis
Indiana’s George Hill scored 26 points and Paul George added 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Pacers to a 93-82 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday and a 3-1 lead in the NBA second-round playoff series.
Indiana needs one more win to reach the conference finals for the first time since 2004. Game 5 will be Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
NBA scoring champ Carmelo Anthony fouled out with 24 points. J.R. Smith had 19 on another dreadful night for the Knicks.
The game followed a familiar pattern. New York’s shooting was off, Indiana had a huge rebounding edge and the Knicks couldn’t challenge in the second half.
New York didn’t hang around long, either. Indiana closed the first quarter on a 9-2 run to break a 14-14 tie. New York never got closer than five the rest of the way.
Indiana improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs and has won each time by double digits. The Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies are the only teams that haven’t lost at home during the postseason.
But this was not just another off night for New York, which lost for the fifth time in seven games.
New York shot just 35.6 per cent from the field, 28.6 per cent on 3-pointers and was outrebounded this time 54-36.
And, at times, the Knicks lost their composure, too.
Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Amare Stoudemire combined to play 42 minutes in the first half and had a grand total of seven points, nine rebounds and nine fouls - three apiece. Chandler and Stoudemire each drew technicals and Smith was fortunate not to get another after being called for a charge.
Coach Mike Woodson complained multiple times with the officials and backup Quentin Richardson even smacked the press table with his hand after a non-call late in the first quarter.
Indiana, which has won five of its last six, dictated for the final three quarters.
New York tied the score at 14 with 3:38 left in the first quarter, then allowed the Pacers to go ahead 23-16 lead after one.
The Knicks never led in the game, and never tied it again.
Indiana extended the lead to 30-19 early in the second quarter before Anthony tried single-handedly to rally his teammates. He produced the Knicks’ next seven points and when Raymond Felton scored on a layup with 4:08 left in the half, New York cut the deficit to 35-30.
But the Pacers thwarted that rally by scoring six straight points and pulled away to take a 48-34 halftime lead.
Even when it looked like the Knicks might challenge in the third and fourth quarters, the Pacers had all the answers.
When New York trimmed the lead to 69-61 in the fourth, Indiana ran off five straight and eventually put it away.