New York stuck with the Pacers early, but couldn't hold on as the team with the best record in the NBA absolutely dominated in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Semifinals. Indiana came out with the win, 117-89.
The Knicks played the Pacers tight in the first quarter, leading, 31-30, after 12 minutes of play. But Indiana clamped down on New York defensively out of the break, eventually opening up a 15-point lead at halftime, 63-48. Carmelo Anthony was the lone bright spot for the Knicks, who lost Kenyon Martin early in the quarter to an ankle injury.
Roy Hibbert swats Carmelo Anthony at the rim.
With Martin out and the Pacers defense swarming, Paul George led Indiana to a huge lead midway through the third quarter. It didn't help the ailing Knicks that late in the period, Amare Stoudemire turned his ankle badly and had to leave the floor. The game was over before the fourth quarter even started, with Indiana pushing the Knicks around with a balanced offensive attack. Lance Stephenson was absolutely sensational, and New York had no answer for him or George on defense.
Anthony led the Knicks with 28 points on 8-of-17 shooting, including 7 rebounds and three assists. Tyson Chandler added 13 points and nine boards while J.R. Smith had 12 points off the bench on 6-of-12 shooting.
For Indiana, Stephenson led the way with 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including three three-pointers. He added four assists and four rebounds. George had 25 points and seven rebounds, shooting 4-of-8 from three-point range. Surprisingly, no Pacer players ended with double-digit rebounds or assists.
The win moves Indiana to an NBA-best 31-7 on the year. New York drops to 15-24 on the season, good for 10th in the Eastern Conference.