DANNY GRANGER
Scored 21 of his career-high 25 in the first half, finishing 8-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from the 3-point line, adding five rebounds in 29 huge minutes off the bench.
RICK CARLISLE
"These games are must-win games for us now. We've had a tough stretch, we've had some injuries and some other things. You've got to get well at home and it's not easy because teams come in here and it's an opportunity. Tonight is a key win, and we'll find a lot more about where we are Sunday against Utah. There's a reason they have the best record. They're that good."
Points in the Paint:
Pacers 38, Knicks 36
Fast-break points:
Knicks 15, Pacers 10
2nd-chance points:
Knicks 12, Pacers 11
Points off turnovers:
Knicks 21, Pacers 20
Starters scoring:
Pacers 64, Knicks 52
Bench scoring:
Pacers 48, Knicks 44
Knicks center Eddy Curry had his streak of games of at least 20-point games snapped at 11. It was the longest such streak since Patrick Ewing had 17 in a row in the 1993-94 season.
One of the league's best young point guards, Deron Williams, leads the Utah Jazz into Conseco Fieldhouse for a Sunday afternoon game (2:30 p.m.)
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  • INDIANA 112, NEW YORK 96
    Pacers Spoil Thomas' Return

    By Conrad Brunner | Dec. 15, 2006


    As much as they professed to enjoy playing for Isiah Thomas when he was their head coach, the Pacers – at least those that remained from those years – seemed to enjoy beating him even more.

    Blowing open the game behind Danny Granger's second-quarter explosion, the Pacers dominated the Knicks in a 112-96 rout, spoiling Thomas' first game back as head coach Friday at Conseco Fieldhouse.

    Granger scored a career-high 25 including 15 in the second period when the Pacers turned a nine-point deficit into a 17-point lead. The margin remained at least 15 points the rest of the game. Indiana won its sixth in a row at home, matching its longest streak in two seasons, and improved to 13-12 overall and 8-2 at home. The Knicks dropped to 9-16 overall, 5-6 on the road.


    PLUSES

    The offense was unselfish and prolific, with 27 assists and 12-of-23 shooting from the 3-point line. Granger missed just two of 10 shots and pulled five rebounds in addition to his team-high 25 points. Stephen Jackson scored 19 on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-6 from the arc, and he added five assists, four rebounds and a blocked shot. Al Harrington scored 17. Jermaine O'Neal had his seventh straight double-double with 11 points and 1 rebounds, adding four blocks and three assists. Jamaal Tinsley had 11 points and nine assists against just one turnover. Jeff Foster pulled 10 rebounds, seven offensive. Sarunas Jasikevicius had five assists off the bench and Darrell Armstrong scored eight as that guard tandem continued to play effectively. The double-teaming, collapsing defense frustrated Curry from the outset and robbed the Knicks of their primary offensive weapon. Curry had averaged 26.8 points in the previous six games but managed just 10.
    MINUSES
    The only Knicks player who got rolling was Jamal Crawford, who racked up 29 points on 9-of-19 shooting, adding five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Off the bench, David Lee had 12 points and eight rebounds and Nate Robinson scored 12.
    MOMENTS
    The Knicks won the first quarter and had a 29-22 lead after scoring the first five points of the second quarter, but Granger converted a three-point play that started a 10-point run that gave the Pacers a 32-29 lead. The Knicks were hanging around, down 42-39, when Granger had another three-point play and a fast-break dunk to spark a 17-3 run late in the quarter that extended the margin to 59-42. The Knicks offered up no challenge in the second half.
    TIDBITS
  • The Pacers set season highs for points in a game, in a quarter (42 in the second) and in the first half (64).
  • The Pacers also established a season-high for 3-pointers made with 12.
  • David Harrison's MRI Thursday revealed a sprain of his left shoulder and he'll be out "at least a week, probably two," said Coach Rick Carlisle.
  • The Knicks lost starting small forward Quentin Richardson to back spasms in the first half. His place in the second-half lineup was taken by David Lee.
  • Though this was the Knicks' sixth visit to Conseco Fieldhouse since Thomas was named President of Basketball Operations in December 2003, it was their first with Thomas as the coach.