By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
KNICKS 92, PACERS 86 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it Happened:
After winning six straight games, the Knicks faced a different challenge against Indiana. Not only came did the Pacers come into Madison Square Garden with the best record in the Eastern Conference, but they are also the same team that eliminated New York from the playoffs a season ago.
There was no shortage of motivation for the Orange and Blue, and the urgency was evident from the way they competed from the opening tip. Led by Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, who had 14 points apiece in the first half, the Knicks were the more aggressive team the entire night. They outrebounded the physical Pacers, 27-19, while holding them to 35 points in the first half.
The tone had been set. The Knicks packed the paint, daring Indiana to beat them from downtown. The strategy paid off, as the Pacers connected on only five of 23 3-point attempts (21.7 percent).
When the Pacers made their run in the 3rd quarter and pulled to within one, the Knicks had their answer. Up 67-66, back-to-back 3s from Iman Shumpert and Anthony, followed by a strong driving layup by Stoudemire, and the lead was New York's for good.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony was sensational as he carried the scoring load for the Knicks. He finished with 34 points on 12-for-23 shooting and played a big role in putting Paul George in foul trouble. Indiana had no way to defend Melo once he got going.
The Knicks look to stretch their winning streak to eight games on Friday night as they head to Philly to battle the 76ers.