Despite Valiant Effort & Melo's 39, Knicks Fall To Pacers 106-99

Jonah Ballow



How it happened:
Carmelo Anthony delivered a stirring 39-point performance but the Knicks suffered a 106-99 to the Pacers on Saturday night. Indiana clinched the series and will move onto the Eastern Conference Finals to face the Miami Heat.

At the 5:27 mark of the fourth quarter, Anthony hit J.R. Smith on a skip pass and the sixth man drilled the long ball to provide the road team with a 92-90 lead. A major moment occurred at 4:44 when Anthony made a beautiful spin move but was met by Roy Hibbert at the rim. The dunk could have propelled New York to a late run, however, Hibbert blocked the attempt and stifled some of the Knicks mojo.

A couple minutes later, Lance Stephenson awoke from a second half slumber after he scored 16 points in the first half of action. Stephenson jumped the passing lane, snatched a steal and finished an And-1 after a foul on Smith. The bucket shifted the momentum back to the Pacers as they led 95-92 at the 3:52 mark.

Tyson Chandler dealt with foul trouble all evening and was eventually sent to the sidelines when he was whistled for his sixth foul with three minutes left in the contest. Stephenson hit both of his free throw attempts to extend Indiana’s lead to five points.

After New York cut the deficit again to just six points, Stephenson connected on a knockout blow, an off glass finish that increased the lead to 101-94 and just 1:53 on the game clock.

Anthony did hit a quick bucket with 49.9 seconds remaining but the Pacers effectively ran out the clock and punched their ticket to the next round.

Trailing by 12 points in the third quarter, Anthony erupted to give the Knicks an opportunity to compete down the stretch. Anthony scored 11 points in the first six minutes of the period and lit the flame for New York’s offense. Iman Shumpert followed the direction of the Knicks leading scorer by drilling all four of his 3-point attempts in the quarter. Anthony and Shumpert combined to score 31 points in the third while hitting 10-of-13 from the floor to fuel the tremendous period that saw New York outscore Indiana 34-26.

The third quarter performance was spectacular just not enough to carry the Knicks in a hostile environment. Chandler, Kenyon Martin, and Shumpert all fouled in the defeat.

Shumpert turned in a riveting final outing by scoring 19 points. Smith added 15 off the pine and Chris Copeland contributed nine points in Game 6.

For Indiana, Stephenson scored 16 of his career-high 25 points in the first half and was an absolute beat on both ends of the floor. Stephenson also tallied 10 boards. George posted 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting from the floor.

Knick of the Night:
Anthony shot 15-of-29 from the field, hit all eight of his free throw attempts, and finished with 39 points. The All-Star dropped 15 points in the third quarter to carry his squad back into the game. He added seven rebounds as well.

Statistically Speaking:
Indiana outscored New York 52-20 in the paint and won the fast break battle 12-0. The transition points were an issue considering the Knicks preached tempo and pace throughout the entire series. The Pacers won all of their home games in the series.

Looking Ahead:
The Knicks will return to New York tonight following the loss and exit interviews are scheduled for Monday at MSG Training Center. Stay tuned to for complete coverage.

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