PACERS 112 KNICKS 104 | BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE
How it happened:
Both teams started hot in their third meeting in what had the feeling of a playoff game with postseason implications on the line. Steve Novak drilled a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter to tie the game at 31-31. Throughout the second period, the two squads exchanged buckets but the Knicks found some separation to close the half.
The Pacers snagged a 49-48 lead at the 2:22 mark of the second quarter before New York unleashed an 11-2 run that featured a 3-pointer from Baron Davis, a strong drive to the rack by Carmelo Anthony, and Landry Fields and Tyson Chandler finishing in the open floor. Heading into the locker room, New York captured an eight-point advantage while building momentum for the second half.
The Knicks' rally carried over to the third quarter as Anthony scored 13 of his game-high 39 points and they pushed the lead to 15 with a swarming defensive effort. New York scored eight points on four turnovers from the Pacers in the third.
Just when the Knicks looked to bust out the brooms for the season sweep, Indiana launched a furious rally behind a 19-4 run to open the final stanza. The Pacers received a boost from Danny Granger and Paul George as the two players found their offensive rhythm, combining for 32 points in the second half.
Anthony provided a brief moment of hope after he scored six straight points to knock Indiana’s lead to just two points with 2:10 remaining in the contest. However, several errant attempts from the Knicks stifled the comeback attempt and they fell 112-104.
"We have to go back, regroup, and I have to help them. It was a winnable game and then they made the run." -- Interim Head Coach Mike Woodson
Anthony enjoyed his move to the power forward spot by blowing past David West on the perimeter or shooting over a smaller defender if Indiana decided to switch. The Knicks All-Star hit 17-of-31 shots from the field and hauled down 10 boards, finishing with a season high of 39 points.
New York finished the night 44 percent beyond the arc, led by Novak’s three long bombs. As a team, the Knicks sunk 10 shots from downtown.
News and Notes:
Anthony needed 14 points to surpass Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier on the all-time NBA total points list. With 45 seconds left in the second quarter, Anthony connected on a layup in the lane on a hard drive to the rack. At halftime with MSG’s Tina Cervasio, Anthony said it was a blessing and honor to pass the former New York great.
The Knicks traveled to Orlando directly after the game on Tuesday night. With an off day in Orlando, the squad will practice in preparation for Thursday’s nationally televised matchup against the Magic.