Notebook: Pacers 93, Knicks 82

Posted May 14, 2013 11:05 PM

Conrad Brunner, for

THE FACTS: George Hill stepped into Indiana's rotating spotlight, scoring 26 points to lead the Pacers to the brink of their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in nearly a decade with a 93-82 victory over New York Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana takes a 3-1 series lead into Madison Square Garden for Game 4 Thursday night against a Knicks team that has yet to unlock the Pacers' stifling defense. Paul George had 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers, who outrebounded the Knicks 54-36 and held them to less than 36 percent shooting (.356) for the second game in a row. Carmelo Anthony scored 24 and J.R. Smith 19 for New York, but they needed 45 combined shots to generate those 43 points.

QUOTABLE: "He was spectacular, maybe the best game I've ever seen him play. He was just making all the winning plays. He not only executed our offense, he bailed us out a few times when things broke down late in the shot clock."
-- Indiana coach Frank Vogel on Hill.

THE STAT: Indiana is 7-0 in the playoffs when Hill scores at last 14 points, 0-3 otherwise.

TURNING POINT: After Indiana controlled most of the first half in building a 48-34 lead, the Knicks came out on the attack in the third quarter, getting inside the Indiana defense and sending center Roy Hibbert to the bench with four fouls with 7:17 left and the Pacers holding onto a 54-43 lead. Lance Stephenson hit a huge 3-pointer, then Hill drove for points in the next two possessions to push the lead back to 18. When the Knicks closed to 69-61 early in the fourth quarter, Stephenson again stepped forward with a 3-pointer and a drive and there would be no further threats.

QUOTABLE II: "It takes four games to get out of this series. We go home, we handle our business at home and we get back here on Friday and see if we can force Game 7. That's what I'm thinking. That's the only way I'm thinking."
-- New York coach Mike Woodson.

HOT: Hill shot 9-for-14 from the field. ... Little-used Knicks reserves Chris Copeland and Steve Novak combined to go 3-for-4 from the 3-point line.

NOT: Anthony shot 9-for-23, while Smith was 7-for-22. ... Smith is now shooting .281 overall for the series, .231 from the 3-point line. ... George continued to struggle with his shot, going 6-for-19 including 1-for-9 from the arc. He is 10-for-36 overall, 3-for-21 from the arc in the last two games. ... Iman Shumpert shot 0-for-6, with five of the misses coming from the 3-point line.

QUOTABLE III: "We're a deep team and the way we played tonight we can be a great team. Everybody had a hand in the pile."
-- Hill.

NOTABLE: Woodson changed his starting lineup, going big with Kenyon Martin at power forward next to center Tyson Chandler, sending Pablo Prigioni to the bench. The lineup (Raymond Felton, Shumpert, Anthony, Martin and Chandler) had not played together at any point this season and was outscored 24-12 by Indiana's starters. ... Prigioni played just 3:26 off the bench. ... In seven postseason wins, Indiana has outrebounded opponents by 106. ... The Pacers are 5-0 at home in the playoffs with all the victories by double figures. The average margin is 15.4. ... The Knicks lost their fifth consecutive road playoff game and haven't won a postseason game in Indianapolis since 1999. ... Indiana has made more 3-pointers than New York (34-28) in the series. ... Jason Kidd was scoreless for the eighth consecutive game dating back to April 23. He has shot 0-for-16 overall, 0-for-10 from the arc in that span. ... Shumpert started but played just 16 minutes, missing all six of his shots. ... David West (10 points, 10 rebounds) had a double-double for the Pacers.

UP NEXT: Game 5 Thursday at New York, Game 6 (if necessary) Saturday at Indiana, Game 7 (if necessary) Monday at New York.