PACERS 102 KNICKS 95 GAME 1 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
Fresh off a physical, emotional, and somewhat historic series against the Celtics, the Knicks turned around and hosted the Pacers in what expects to feature the same types of themes.
Sunday’s matinee highlighted the physical presence from the road squad as Indiana marched into the Garden and stole Game 1, 102-95.
David West, Roy Hibbert, and the lengthy Pacers placed stress on the Knicks two main offensive weapons. Carmelo Anthony was held to just 10-of-28 shooting from the floor and J.R. Smith only hit four shots from the perimeter. Indiana's bigs packed the paint and made life difficult for any attempted drives from the Knicks.
The turning point occurred at the conclusion of the second quarter when Paul George buried a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 52-46 lead heading into the locker room. Suddenly, the Pacers grasped the momentum after the Knicks jumped out of the gate with a 27-22 advantage at the end of the first quarter. In fact, New York put together a 9-0 run in the final 1:36 of that period and Raymond Felton scored 12 of his 18 points.
The third frame was troublesome for the home team. George Hill opened with a trey and when the Knicks were starting to rally down six points, Anthony was whistled for his fourth foul. Near the end of the quarter the lead ballooned to 81-65 following a corner long bomb from D.J. Augustin. The back-up point guard registered 16 points off the pine for Indiana while shooting 4-of-5 behind the arc.
Foul issues plagued New York throughout the day and even though Anthony escaped a dismissal from the contest, he played most of the fourth period with five fouls.
Despite the significant deficit the Knicks faced in the second half, they had an opportunity with 50.7 seconds on the game clock. Smith dropped two free throws to narrow the gap to six points. Unfortunately, the No. 2 seed could not create the stops on the defensive end and execute down the stretch from an offensive standpoint.
Anthony finished with a game-high 27 points and 11 boards, Smith added 17 off the bench, and Kenyon Martin scored 10. On the opposite side, West poured in 20 points, George scored 19, and six Pacers reached the double digit mark in points.
Knick of the Night:
Anthony managed to reach 27 points, one digit below his average for the season but Felton was the most efficient Knick today. Once again, he attacked the paint and hit midrange jumpers to a tune of 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor.
Indiana dominated the glass by outrebounding New York 44-30, which included 11 offensive rebounds for the underdog.
The Knicks will hit the practice floor on Monday morning to prepare for Game 2 on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.