Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden
Game Rewind: IND 80, NYK 90
Scott Agness | April 14, 2013
The Pacers got down 20 in the second quarter, but they weren’t out of it. That is, until they kept giving the ball away, over and over. The Pacers turned it over a season-high 26 times leading to 33 points for the New York Knicks, who clinched the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 90-80 win Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
Despite the Pacers falling for the fourth time in five games, they have secured the 3-seed in the East after Brooklyn lost at Toronto Sunday afternoon.
Related: Playoff Picture Clears »
The NBA’s leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony, made his first four shots of the game and had the Knicks’ first 11 points. Paul George, who was checking Anthony, was forced to the bench five minutes in after picking up his second foul. The Pacers (49-31) shot themselves in the foot with nine turnovers in the first quarter, which led to 11 points for the Knicks (53-27).
Jeff Pendergraph started the second period, moving ahead of Ian Mahinmi in the rotation because of his offensive versatility. He brought his usual energy to the floor, something that’s been lacking for the Pacers, and scored six points in seven minutes.
Going back to when the score was tied at 13 in the first quarter, the Knicks outscored the Pacers 28-8 to move ahead by 20 points. That marked the fifth straight game the Pacers fell behind by at least 20 points.
In attempt to catch New York off guard and defend their cast of 3-point shooters, the Pacers mixed in some 2-3 zone, which is very rare to see from a Frank Vogel coached team. Over the final seven minutes of the half, the Pacers fed the post and knocked down three long balls. At the break, the Pacers were within seven, 47-40, thanks to a 19-6 spurt since falling in a 20-point hole.
Turnovers were a problem for the Pacers all game long. They had seven more in the third – 26 for the game – and the Knicks converted those into nine points. The Pacers also fired up eight 3-pointers and only hit one – not a recipe for a comeback.
Still, the Pacers only trailed by nine entering the fourth. Sam Young’s layup to open the quarter cut it to seven but then they turned it over on each of their next three possessions. The Pacers came no closer and lost 90-80, to split the season series with New York.
Slow starts continue to be problematic for the Pacers. The Knicks outscored them by eight points in the first stanza but just two in the final three quarters.
With their playoff seed wrapped up, rest will be most important over the next week. Vogel will limit players' minutes and George Hill, Paul George, and even David West could sit out.
Inside the Numbers
Lance Stephenson, playing in front of family and friends, led the Pacers 22 points, tying his career-high (in a meaningless game last season), on 8-of-16 shooting. David West added 17 points and eight rebounds. Paul George finished with nine points (3-of-12 FGs), seven rebounds and 11 assists.
Jeff Pendergraph backed up Roy Hibbert (four points, 10 rebounds) and chipped in 12 points, his sixth game in double figures this season.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 25 points and center Chris Copeland scored 20, going 8-of-12 from the floor. J.R. Smith, a contender for the NBA’s Sixth Man award, added 15.
New York scored more points off of turnovers (33) than Indiana scored in the paint (30).
The Pacers are now 19-21 on the road and assured of a losing road record.
“I thought our passing into the post was atrocious.” – Frank Vogel
“We played some zone. I’m not a zone coach,” Vogel said. It was done to defend New York’s very capable five 3-pointer shooters and also allow Hibbert to remain on the floor.
“We’ve been looking for ways to get [Jeff Pendergraph] involved. With them being small, that’s one of the adjustments we made to … give us a little more offensive versatility because I knew they were going to muck the game up with post double teams and post frontals.” – Frank Vogel
“I thought we played into their hands. We didn’t have enough resolve to get the ball where we wanted. Once the turnovers started we lost our confidence.” – David West
“It was tough. When we did get the ball inside they immediately trapped so it kind of took the bigs out of the game. We had trouble shooting the ball which made it a tough game.” – Paul George
Stat of the Game
The Pacers had 26 turnovers to the Knicks’ 12.
- The Pacers and Knicks split the season series, with both teams winning a pair of games at home.
- Roy Hibbert was given a flagrant-one foul in the third quarter.
- The game was sold-out (19,003 attendance).
- Solomon Jones, who played for the Pacers from 2009-11, signed with the Knicks on Friday and started at center.
In front of a nationally televised audience (on TNT), the Pacers take on the Celtics in Boston at 8 PM EST on Tuesday.
Next Home Game
Tickets are available for the Pacers' final home game of the regular season on April 17 against the Philadelphia 76ers at 8:00 PM. The game marks Fan Appreciation Night as well. Find Tickets »