PACERS 81 KNICKS 76 | BANKERSLIFE FIELDHOUSE
How it happened:
With Carmelo Anthony watching from afar due to a one game suspension, the Knicks suffered a road 81-76 defeat to the Pacers on Thursday night.
New York seemed poised to seize control in the late stages of the third quarter and after Tyson Chandler smashed a two-handed dunk to open the fourth quarter. Chandler’s jam provided the Knicks with a four-point lead but Indiana quickly rallied on an 11-0 run over a three-minute time span while building a 69-62 advantage with 5:30 remaining in the contest.
The Pacers lead ballooned to 10 points deep into the fourth quarter as Paul George registered 17 of his team-high 24 points. The Knicks could not match the late rally and dropped to 23-12 on the season. Indiana has now won nine straight games at home and improved to 22-14.
Marcus Camby was sent to the locker room in the third quarter with a foot injury, leaving the Knicks frontline thin in the post. The Pacers were also dealing with an issue to their big man at the center spot. Roy Hibbert was regulated to only 19 minutes as he dealt with back spasms.
Both teams struggled mightily from the floor, considering Indiana shot 39 percent and New York only connected on 35 percent of its attempts. Despite the shooting woes, J.R. Smith posted a 25-point performance in the defeat and Chandler recorded 15 boards.
Knick of the Night:
Smith needed 29 attempts from the floor to reach a game-high 25 points in 40 minutes but his offense was sorely needed. The shooting guard also dished out six assists off the pine. On the bright side, Smith pounded a one-handed dunk in the first half in one of his many highlight reel plays this season.
The Pacers and Knicks finished a combined 9-of-41 behind the arc.
The Knicks jumped back on a plane to New York and will have to quickly prepare for the third matchup of the season against the Bulls on Friday night. Chicago has won the two previous meetings.