THE FACTS: New York coach Mike Woodson said beforehand he figured this would be an ugly game. He had it half right. While the Knicks could do nothing right, the Indiana Pacers put on a nearly flawless performance, staging what amounted to its own 3-point and slam-dunk contests in rolling to a stunning 125-91 blowout Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Paul George scored 27 points with eight rebounds to lead Indiana (33-21), which led by as many as 39 points and closed to one-half game behind the Knicks (32-19) in the race for the second seed in the Eastern Conference. David West added 18 for the Pacers, who took a 2-1 lead in the season series with one game remaining April 14 in New York. Tyson Chandler had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks (32-19).
QUOTABLE: "There's no better way to come out of the break than to play the team immediately above you in the standings. We want to close the gap. We want to take the two seed from New York and we want to try to push Miami for the one seed. Any win's a confidence-booster, but especially a big win against a great team against the Knicks."
-- Indiana coach Frank Vogel
THE STAT: Indiana posted season highs for points, margin of victory (34), biggest lead (39) and points in a quarter (44 in the second) and half (74 in the first).
TURNING POINT: Indiana got off to a quick start, but the Knicks were within striking distance -- down 30-21 after Steve Novak's 3-pointer to open the second quarter. But the Knicks would miss their next seven shots, while the Pacers' reserves put together a 13-2 run featuring eight points from Orlando Johnson to open a 43-23 lead and it was all downhill from there for New York.
QUOTABLE II: "This is not a statement. This is just another game on the schedule."
-- Indiana guard George Hill
HOT: George was 11-for-19 overall, and 4-for-9 from the 3-point line as Indiana's starters combined to shoot 29-for-48 (.604). ... Chandler was 11-for-11 from the free-throw line. ... Chris Copeland came off the Knicks bench to score 13 points in 10 minutes in the fourth quarter.
NOT: Carmelo Anthony scored just 15 points 7-for-21 shooting, 1-for-6 from the 3-point line. ... Smith and Iman Shumpert both shot 1-for-7, and Jason Kidd was scoreless, missing all three of this shots. ... Amar'e Stoudemire was 1-for-5.
QUOTABLE III: "We got to get it together, we definitely have to get it together. If we want to accomplish the things that we've talked about, we have to play a lot better than this. They played like a team tonight. We got our [behind's] whipped. We have to play harder."
-- Tyson Chandler
NOTABLE: Things got combative in the second quarter. Stoudemire picked up a technical foul for vigorously protesting his third foul early in the period. Raymond Felton was hit with a Type 1 Flagrant Foul for elbowing Jeff Pendergraph with 2:02 remaining, and J.R. Smith and Lance Stephenson earned double-technicals for going chest-to-chest after the halftime buzzer sounded, prompting a scrum at center court. ... Smith was later ejected in the third quarter for protesting an offensive foul called when he threw a high elbow in Stephenson's direction on a clearout. ... Indiana had three four-point possessions in the second period. ... One of the NBA's most prolific 3-point shooting teams, the Knicks were 1-for-15 in the first half and finished 5-for-28 (.179). ... New York shot .337 overall, while Indiana was at .532. ... The Pacers made 11 3-pointers and had 10 dunks. ... Danny Granger's comeback will have to wait at least one more game. After practicing with the team Monday night and Tuesday, Granger did not feel ready to make his regular season debut. The Pacers originally hoped Granger would return for two or three games before the All-Star break. Now, they're targeting Friday's home game with Detroit. ... New York played without Marcus Camby (foot) and Rasheed Wallace (foot). Both have begun light workouts but are not close to returning.
UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Friday vs. Detroit, Saturday @ Detroit, Tuesday vs. Golden State. For the Knicks, Friday @ Toronto, Sunday vs. Philadelphia, Wednesday vs. Golden State.