Sunday, May 5th, 2013 at 3:30 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden
Game Rewind:Pacers 102, Knicks 95, Game 1
Scott Agness | May 5, 2013
Who needs superstars when you have a balanced-attack? There was Roy Hibbert at the rim, protecting his land. There was Lance Stephenson, playing a few miles from his hometown, knocking down open shots and grabbing any lose ball in sight. There was David West, battling in the post but also hitting his patented step-back jumper.
Playing in the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden in New York City, the Indiana Pacers collectively put on their hard hats and went to work. They took command of the game in the second quarter, led by as many as 16 points, and took home court advantage away from the Knicks with a 102-95 Game 1 win.
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Pacers coach Frank Vogel had associate head coach Brian Shaw talk to the team Saturday at practice about playing in this type of playoff environment. Some early nerves were evident as both the Pacers and Knicks spent the first nine minutes of the game feeling each other out. Raymond Felton got into an early groove off of pick-and-rolls, which can be a weakness of the Pacers. Felton scored 12 points in the opening period. After giving up seven points in a row, the Knicks went on a 9-0 run to end the first quarter with a five-point advantage. During that two minute stretch, Sam Young, who didn’t play in the last three games of the Pacers’ series with Atlanta, turned it over three times and fouled off the ball.
D.J. Augustin picked the team up after that terrible spell to end the first quarter. He hit all three of his 3-point attempts and knocked in a free throw for 10 points at the break. The Pacers’ starters returned later in the second quarter and closed the first half strong on a 14-4 run to give the team a six-point lead. They shot 51 percent, controlled the glass, and limited New York to just five points off of eight turnovers.
Indiana’s team ball was best demonstrated in the third, where six guys – all five starters and Augustin – scored at least four points each. Carmelo Anthony, the NBA’s top scoring player during the regular season, picked up his fourth foul early and was limited to four minutes in the period. Before the quarter ended (with a 16-point lead), all six of those Indiana players were in double figures and Lance Stephenson had acquired his first career playoff double-double.
Anthony saw Tyler Hansbrough guarding him to start the final stanza and went to work, scoring the quarter’s first six points. With less than four minutes to play, Anthony connected on a 20-foot jumper and after a questionable offensive foul on West, he buried a triple trimming Indiana’s lead to eight. Roy Hibbert, who had an excellent defensive game, knocked down both free throws after being fouled by Knicks center Tyson Chandler, his sixth.
Anthony and J.R. Smith were fouled on subsequent possessions, and they made all four foul shots to get within six with 50.7 seconds left. Augustin triggered a quick three, and missed, but Smith also missed a three-ball at the other end.
The Pacers, a team that had lost four straight road games ahead of Friday’s win in Atlanta, won their second game in a row away from home by being physical, controlling the inside game and getting a strong effort from a number of guys.
Success in Game 1 bodes well for the Pacers. Entering today’s game, when they had won the first game, they went on to win the series 14 of 18 times. Game 2 in New York is on Tuesday.
Inside the Numbers
David West led the Pacers in scoring with 20 points, but six guys finishing in double figures was the most impressive feat. Seven players tallied at least eight points. Paul George, who fouled out under a minute to play, had 19 points, seven coming from the free throw line. George Hill added 14 points and six assists.
With 11 points and 13 rebounds, Lance Stephenson recorded his first career playoff double-double. It was a new career-high rebounding total, and his third consecutive game with at least 11 rebounds.
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Roy Hibbert entered the game averaging 5.5 points in four games against the Knicks this season. He ended the game with 14 points, eight rebounds, five blocks, four assists, and many altered shots at the rim.
D.J. Augustin made his first five shots and totaled 16 points, nearly a new season-high (19).
Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 27 points – it took him 28 shots to do so – and grabbed 11 rebounds. J.R. Smith missed his first nine shots but racked up 17 points. Raymond Felton contributed 12 of his 18 points in the first quarter.
Indiana won in all the physicality departments – rebounding (44-30), points in the paint (46-32), second chance points (20-10). And they only gave up 13 points on its 16 giveaways.
The Pacers improved to 48-7 this season when leading after three quarters.
“I was very proud of our guys for their determination and effort, particularly on the defensive end. We tried to play to our strengths. I thought Roy Hibbert was sensational around the rim. The rest of our guards came back to rebound. It was a strong defensive effort. Guys played with great poise. It was a complete team effort and I am proud of them.” – Frank Vogel
“Every road win that we got this year, at Houston, at Dallas, at the Clippers, those were confidence builders. We knew we were going to need that confidence to win in the playoffs on the road. We struggled a little bit in the Atlanta series but we knew if we kept after it and played our system, we’d eventually get a win and that Game 6 win (in Atlanta) I think definitely built some confidence that we could come in here and get a win.” – Frank Vogel
“The kid’s learning discipline. We keep talking to him about not leaking out. He’s a weapon in the break and that’s good but when he comes back and rebound, we’re pretty good, too.” – Frank Vogel on Lance Stephenson
“I think him and probably Tyson Chandler are the two best rim protectors in the game. Anybody that watches this series will see how to play the center position at its best. He had a lot of drives at him and had a great discipline to earn no-calls. He just had a great night.” – Frank Vogel on Roy Hibbert
“In my estimation, I think he’s the best big defender in the league. He’s anchored our defense all year.” – David West on Roy Hibbert
“This is a big stage and a lot of us haven’t been on this stage, like myself. This is good experience for me but [the coaches] prepped us for this.” – Paul George
"You take out the Xs and Os of the game, they flat out played harder than we did today. That was the key to their victory. They outplayed and outworked us. There is nothing else that needs to be said about that.” - Carmelo Anthony
Stat of the Game
Paul George held Carmelo Anthony to 5-for-18 shooting and J.R. Smith to 0-for-7 (via ESPN)
- The Pacers ended a three-game skid in New York.
- Amar’e Stoudemire (knee) and Steve Novak (back spasms) both missed the game.
- Indiana wore their gold uniforms.
- Former Knicks center Patrick Ewing sat courtside (1985-2000). Olivia Wilde, Woody Allen, Steve Schirripa, Jason Sudeikis, Andrew Garfield, and of course Spike Lee were also on hand.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is in New York on Tuesday at 7 PM EDT.
Get your tickets for the next playoff game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Game 3 is Saturday, May 11, at 8:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »