Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 117, Knicks 89
Scott Agness | January 16, 2014
The New York Knicks returned to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time since the Pacers ended their season last year in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Knicks admitted pregame that they still had a sour taste in their mouths from how that series ended.
Lance Stephenson finished with a career-high 28 points, but it was the Pacers' efficient and unselfish offense that stole the show. In front of a nationally televised audience, the Pacers (31-7) shot 50 percent and set a season-high scoring mark in their 117-89 pounding of the Knicks (15-24).
A hot-shooting start helped the Knicks, who werewithout Metta World Peace and Pablo Prigioni due to injuries, take an early eight-point lead via a 10-2 spurt. All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony got in rhythm early, nailing 6-of-8 shots for 18 points in the first period. The Pacers were on their way to closing the quarter well, on a 13-4 run, but then they gave up a triple to Anthony as time expired. That shot put the Knicks back ahead, 31-30.
The Pacers put on a clinic in the second quarter. First, it was forward Luis Scola giving the team a lift off the bench. Danny Granger, who finished with 11 points and a season-high four assists, also provided a boost. Their ball movement was superb in the stanza, resulting in 10 assists on 13 field goals — and just one turnover. Center Roy Hibbert brought the sold-out crowd to its feet when he stuffed Anthony at the rim, a play reminiscent of his signature block against Anthony in Game 6 last spring.
Lance Stephenson, who was slicing and dicing, scored 13 of his 17 first-half points as he played the entire quarter. One game after scoring a season-high 59 points in the first half against Sacramento, they upped it to 63 in this one and took a 15-point lead into the locker room.
It was more of the same in the final two quarters. Paul George had a dunk to start off the half and then a couple 3-pointers, all part of his 10-point quarter. The Pacers were loose and having fun playing together, while the Knicks failed to make any counter moves. Late in the third, the Knicks took advantage of a handful of poor possessions by the Pacers, but never came closer than 18 points — Indiana’s lead entering the final quarter.
Though their lead was rather hefty, Stephenson wasn’t done yet. Midway through the quarter, he stole the ball and got the layup to fall while being fouled by J.R. Smith. After completing the three-point play, he exited the floor with a career-high 28 points. That topped his previous mark of 26, which came earlier this season against his hometown team, the Brooklyn Nets.
A 29-point lead allowed for coach Frank Vogel to empty his bench, and Chris Copeland banged in a 3-pointer against his former team. The Pacers rolled to their third win in a row, and ninth straight at home.
Inside the Numbers
Six Indiana players finished in double figures, led by Stephenson’s 28 on 10-of-17 shooting. Paul George had 25 and David West added 12. The bench contributed 38 points, their third-highest total of the year.
After 18 points in the first quarter, Carmelo Anthony scored 10 over the final three for a team-high 28 points. Tyson Chandler had 13 points and nine boards, and both Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith contributed 12.
Indiana owned the paint, outscoring the Knicks 40-22, and made the most of New York’s 12 turnovers by scoring 20 points.
The Knicks, a 36 percent 3-point shooting team, made just four of their 19 of their attempts (21 percent).
The Pacers connected on 10 or more 3-pointers for the fifth time this season. They have won every one of those games.
“You hear David West in the locker room all the time talking about hitting singles and doubles, and not swinging for the fences but making the simple plays. Our guys did that tonight, and it showed up with great offensive production.” – Frank Vogel
“It’s been a point of emphasis the last three of four games, since we had a little bit of an offensive lull right after the New Year. Just to play harder off the basketball, and cut harder, screen harder, run into screens, run out of screens, crash, run the floor — all those things. What you’re doing without the basketball matters.” – Frank Vogel on the off-the-ball movement
“He’s a positive influence on...our culture and the fun that we have. …His competitive spirit is as high as anyone we’ve ever coached.” – Frank Vogel on Lance Stephenson
“I like when everybody’s clicking and everybody’s happy. Nobody cares who’s scoring the most. We’re just playing ball and it is all togetherness on this team.” – Lance Stephenson
“I think that was the key for us winning tonight was taking care of the ball. We always tell ourselves, ‘Let’s get shots over turnovers because you never know what’ll happen if you get the ball on the rim.’ That’s a great job as a team.” – Paul George
Stat of the Game
The Pacers tallied 26 assists on 43 field goals and had a season-low six turnovers.
- The Pacers have won both meetings with New York this season, and they’ve won six of the last seven at the Fieldhouse.
- Roy Hibbert earned a technical foul, his second of the season, in the third quarter.
- Knicks forward Kenyon Martin left the game in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return. Amar’e Stoudemire also sprained his left his left ankle, but in the third quarter and didn’t return.
- The Pacers recorded their 13th sellout of the season. Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, and Antoine Bethea of the Colts sat courtside.