KNICKS 88 PACERS 76 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
After allowing 100 points in back-to-back games, the Knicks regained their defensive prowess in a 88-76 victory over the Pacers on Sunday afternoon.
Both squads struggled to score in the matinee matchup but New York found enough offense to build a 15-point lead at the mid-point of the third quarter. Carmelo Anthony was the primary offensive threat with 26 points as the Knicks improved to 7-1 on the season.
The turning point occurred in the second frame when Raymond Felton sunk a 3-pointer before Anthony connected on a driving layup to provide New York with a 37-27 lead with 2:14 left in the half.
The Knicks top five ranked defense was stifling – limiting the 4-7 Pacers to just 26.3 percent shooting from the floor, 25 percent beyond the arc, and 30 points at the half. For the game, New York harassed Indiana and forced 19 turnovers, which generated 18 points for home team.
J.R. Smith jumped off the bench to provide 13 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes. Raymond Felton added 11 points and eight dimes to help the Knicks remain undefeated at Madison Square Garden.
"Today is one of those days where we had to do it on the defensive end. Offensively we were trying to find it, shots that we miss that we normally make. But on the defensive end for us to be in sync the way we are right now especially this early into the season that’s a good thing we have to keep building on that guys having each other’s backs out there on the basketball court is a great thing and when your stopping teams and getting out it makes the game that much fun." -- Carmelo Anthony
Anthony looked fresh after battling Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph on Friday night in Memphis. The All-Star was held to just nine points on Thursday and 20 on Friday but he found the touch on Sunday with 26 points on 9-for-22 shooting. Anthony only had to play 32 minutes; he reached the charity stripe eight times and hit seven of those attempts. Additionally, Anthony snatched nine boards in the Knicks bounce back win.
Since March of last season, the Knicks are now 7-0 following a loss under head coach Mike Woodson.
The Knicks will remain in NYC for the night before hitting the road again on Tuesday to New Orleans. Another road trip is on the docket for New York with games against the Hornets, Mavericks, and Rockets this upcoming week.