KNICKS 105 PACERS 79 GAME 2 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
Wait for it…wait for it…
The Knicks have been salivating at a chance to unleash an offensive flurry in the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Unfortunately for the Pacers, the onslaught occurred in a pivotal Game 2 as New York snatched an essential105-79 win to even the series at 1-1 on Tuesday night.
The Knicks displayed solid offensive execution and energized effort on the defensive end en route to a 29-20 first quarter lead. Defensively, New York pressured Indiana while forcing seven turnovers in that first 12 minutes of action.
It looked as if the Knicks would coast to a win at MSG, especially after Iman Shumpert smashed a 1-handed putback dunk to extend the lead to 37-26 in the second quarter.
However, Indiana jumped out of the locker room at the half on a 19-13 run, capitalized by a long bomb from Lance Stephenson to provide the road squad with a 61-60 advantage and its first lead of the contest. George Hill and Stephenson began to find some open space on the perimeter as seen in the Pacers Game 1 victory.
Carmelo Anthony quickly moved into beast mode after the Pacers grabbed the lead. The All-Star blew past David West to tie the game at 64-64 and then cruised around West again for a poster, 2-handed slam on Jeff Pendergraph. Anthony finished the old fashioned 3-point play to shift the momentum back to New York’s direction.
A couple minutes later, Raymond Felton grabbed a steal, streaked down the floor, and tossed a pass off the glass to Kenyon Martin for a huge dunk.
Anthony scored 11 of his game-high 32 points in the third quarter as the Knicks put together a critical 10-2 run over the final three minutes of the period.
Pablo Prigioni kept the good times rolling at the Garden when he connected on a runner in the lane followed by an Anthony baseline jumper and a 3-ball from New York’s leading scorer. At this point, the flood gates opened wide for the home team.
The Knicks reeled off an incredible 28-2 run that carried over from the 3:05 mark of the third quarter. Indiana’s offense turned ice cold as it missed 12 consecutive shots until the midpoint of the final stanza. New York established a dominate 90-66 lead and never looked back in the exhilarating victory.
Shumpert was a major presence on both sides of the floor and scored 15 points to help the Knicks tie the series. Felton was effective early with nine of his 14 points.
Defensively, New York found the right spot – aggressive without an egregious amount of fouls. The Knicks held David West to 13 points, Roy Hibbert only registered six points, and Paul George was regulated to 20 after dropping 15 points in the first half.
“I think I was trying to make a statement. That was the most perfect miss. It came off so perfect. It was beautiful. I wanted to win this game so bad. I knew we needed this game.” -- Iman Shumpert
Knick of the Night:
Two Knicks deserve the honor tonight and Prigioni is an honorable mention. Shumpert was the catalyst in the first half with that jaw-dropping putback dunk. He scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor, grabbed six boards, and dished out three assists in 29 minutes of action.
Anthony launched out of his slump by dropping 32 on 13-of-26 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and two steals.
New York forced 21 Pacers turnovers that turned into 32 points. After being thoroughly dominated on the glass in Game 1, the Knicks turned the tide and outrebounded Indiana 37-35 on Tuesday.
The Knicks will have the day off on Wednesday and most likely hold practice sessions on Thursday and Friday before leaving for Indiana. Game 3 is set for Saturday night at 8 PM.