Thanks to a surprising effort from their bench and another big game from Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks did enough to keep their season alive Thursday night. Anthony led New York with 28 points, as the Knicks held on for an 85-75 Game 5 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Indiana still leads the series 3-2, as the action shifts back to Indianapolis for Game 6 Saturday night.
Anthony was the star of the show, putting together his highest scoring output since Game 2 of this series. Raymond Felton added 12 points, five rebounds and a team-high four assists for New York, while Tyson Chandler controlled the middle defensively with eight rebounds and two blocks.
However the real story was the bench, which included an especially surprising performance from little-used forward Chris Copeland. Copeland was all over the floor in Game 5, contributing 13 points (including three three-pointers), to along with four rebounds, two steals and an assist in 19 minutes of action. Copeland had scored just 15 points through the first four games of this series.
The Knicks also got a better performance from guard J.R. Smith, who had struggled against Indiana early in the series. Through the first four games, Smith shot just 28 percent from the field (16 of 64) and 6 of 26 from the three-point line, but bounced back at least somewhat with 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field.
Meanwhile Indiana was unable to close out the series in large part because they couldn't control the paint like they did in Game 4. After dominating the glass with a 54-36 rebounding edge Tuesday, they out-rebounded the Knicks by just three rebounds on Thursday night. New York also got 10 offensive rebounds and scored 30 points in the paint overall.
Indiana also had trouble running a consistent half-court offense without starting point guard George Hill, who sat out Thursday night after suffering a concussion in Game 4. Without Hill, the Pacers struggled to get good shots all night; Indiana finished the game shooting just 36 percent from the floor, including a 6 of 19 performance as a team from behind the three-point line.
Paul George had 23 points, while David West added 17 points and 10 rebounds. The Pacers' starters got little help from their bench, which contributed just 10 points the entire game.