INDIANA 109, NEW YORK 95
Harrington, Bench Kick Knicks
|STAR OF THE GAME
Snapped out of his early slump with 32 points on 14-of-24 shooting, adding seven rebounds and two assists.
"From the very beginning, we played with force at both ends, especially defensively. I thought Jamal Tinsley and Jermaine O'Neal set the tone for our team. Jermaine was really busting his butt to front (Eddy) Curry and make it tough on him and J.T. did a good job on the ball and the other guys just followed suit. Defense is going to have to be our calling card and we showed we could do it tonight."
Points in the Paint: |
Pacers 54, Knicks 52
Pacers 14, Knicks 8
Knicks 19, Pacers 12
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 21, Knicks 14
Pacers 73, Knicks 72
Pacers 36, Knicks 23
|STAT OF THE GAME
When Jamaal Tinsley scored the first basket of the game, it marked the first time this season the Pacers held a lead in the first half.
The Pacers return home Tuesday night to face Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers in Conseco Fieldhouse (7:00).
Pacers Shot Chart
Recap | Box Score
At Madison Square Garden | Nov. 4, 2006
The lineup didn't change, but the mindset did. Playing aggressively from the outset, the Pacers never trailed and held off several threats to beat the Knicks 109-95 Saturday, spoiling their home opener in Madison Square Garden. Coach Rick Carlisle had threatened to shake up the lineup after a 100-91 home loss to the Hornets the night before, largely because of poor starts, but that wasn't an issue thanks largely to Harrington's instant offense and Jermaine O'Neal's staunch defense (five blocked shots).
The finish was taken care of by reserve guards Darrell Armstrong and Sarunas Jasikevicius, who combined for 21 fourth-quarter points after the Knicks had cut the lead to one point, reversing the momentum and helping the Pacers pull away for their second victory in three games, both on the road.
Most of the key players filled their roles well, beginning with Harrington, who mixed inside and outside shot selection and didn't allow 4-of-19 shooting in the first two games to affect his confidence. O'Neal was a major player with 17 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots. Jasikevicius scored 14 of his 16 in the fourth quarter. Armstrong scored seven of his 13 in the fourth. Jamaal Tinsley racked up 14 assists and the Pacers shot .529 from the field and limited their turnovers to 14.
Stephen Jackson continued to struggle, going 4-of-13 from the field (he's now 13-of-41 for the season) but may have shaken out of the slump with a 10-point third quarter performance. The defense had a few lapses, notably in the third period when the Knicks racked up 36 points on 14-of-21 shooting to all-but wipe out a lead that had been as large as 14. And the Pacers shot well but relied a little too heavily on jump shots. The Knicks were more aggressive attacking the basket and held a 23-9 advantage in free throws made. Steve Francis was particularly troublesome, racking up 25 points (12 from the line), six rebounds and six assists. Eddy Curry scored 22 but needed 20 shots to do so and was effectively frustrated at key moments by O'Neal's shot-blocking.
The single biggest play of the game was the result of a little thing. The Knicks closed the third quarter with an 18-6 run to cut the lead to 77-76 entering the fourth quarter and the Garden was ready to rock. With a chance to take their first lead of the night, the Knicks were thwarted when Armstrong reflexively stuck up his left hand when a pass sailed by his ear, deflected the ball into the backcourt, and then outraced the defense to the ball for a huge layup. The Pacers promptly put together a 12-2 run, 11 of the points coming from Armstrong and Jasikevicius, to open an 89-78 lead and the Knicks were out of threats.
With his 148th career victory with the Pacers, Rick Carlisle passed Larry Bird and moved into second place on the franchise's NBA coaching victories list. Larry Brown is first with 190.
O'Neal surpassed the 4,000 career rebound mark in the first quarter. He's fifth on the franchise list in that category.
Indiana University product Jared Jeffries, a key free agent signing from Washington, did not play for the Knicks as he'll miss the first two weeks of the season with a wrist injury.
The Knicks lost their home opener for the fifth consecutive season.