5 Things to Know: Knicks Look to Ride Momentum Into Indy With Matchup Against Pacers
7:00 PM EST | Bankers Life Fieldhouse
TV: MSG Network
Radio: ESPN NY 98.7 FM
5 Things To Know:
1. When the outcome of Friday’s game seemed bleak, the Knicks found a hidden gem to propel them to an improbable victory. Ron Baker started and played the entire fourth quarter as New York rallied from 14 down to upend the Bucks on their home floor. Carmelo Anthony nailed a late-game 3-pointer to give the Knicks the lead and Baker’s defense and key plays down the stretch helped to secure the win. Kristaps Porzingis returned from a three-game absence to score 24 points and the road team exacted revenge after Giannis Antetokounmpo connected on a game-winner on Wednesday night at MSG.
2. Porzingis showed no ill effects from the sore left Achilles that sidelined him for three games. The second-year standout went toe-to-toe with Antetokounmpo while logging 30 minutes of court time before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Following the game, Porzingis said he felt no soreness and should be good to go for the second of a back-to-back against the Pacers on Saturday night.
3. Indiana scored 38 first quarter points (season-high) en route to a dominating 121-109 victory over the Nets. The Pacers were extremely efficient in hitting 51.6 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent behind the arc. Paul George led the way with 26 points, Myles Turner dropped 25, and Jeff Teague dished out 15 assists in the win. Indiana is now 14-5 at home while riding a current four-game winning streak.
4. The recent surge from the Pacers have lifted them to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference standings with a 19-18 overall record. The Knicks snapped a six-game slide on Friday night and are a game back from the eighth spot at 17-19 this year. Tonight’s contest will mark the second of four scheduled meetings. Five of Indiana’s next seven games are on the road following Saturday’s game and New York will head home for a contest against New Orleans before facing the 76ers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.
5. The first meeting between the two teams resulted in an 118-111 victory for the Knicks. On December 20, New York rallied in the fourth quarter to top Indiana behind a season-high 35 points from Anthony, Derrick Rose’s 24, and Porzingis’ 21. By capturing the win, New York snapped a three-game losing streak to the Pacers at Madison Square Garden.