Bennedict Mathurin
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Rewind: Pacers 114, Knicks 131 (Preseason)

Friday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden

Game Recap

The Pacers are 1-1 after their first two preseason contests, following a 131-114 loss at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. The Knicks used a 46-point second quarter to pull ahead for good en route to a comfortable victory.

Tyrese Haliburton led Indiana with 20 points and seven assists in 24 minutes on Friday, going 6-for-10 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Rookie guard Bennedict Mathurin added 19 points in 18 minutes on 7-of-15 shooting (2-of-3 from 3-point range).

But it wasn't enough against the Knicks, who had six players score in double figures, led by 24 points from Obi Toppin on 10-of-14 shooting (4-of-7 from beyond the arc).

"I thought our team played well in two of the four quarters and New York was pretty good in all four and really exceptional in the second and fourth," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said.

Four different Pacers hit 3-pointers in succession at the start of Friday's contest, as Buddy Hield, Jalen Smith, Chris Duarte, and Haliburton took turns from beyond the arc to help Indiana out to an early 12-7 lead.

RJ Barrett and the Knicks surged back in front with a 10-2 run, with Barrett responsible for eight of those 10 points.

The second unit entered for Indiana and helped the Pacers retake the lead. Mathurin scored six straight points for the Blue & Gold, before T.J. McConnell closed out the opening frame with a baseline floater to give the visitors a 31-26 advantage.

The ensuing frame belonged to the hosts, however. New York held the Pacers to just one field goal over a nearly five-minute stretch, reeling off a 15-3 run to open up the first double-digit lead of the night for either team.

A short while later, Julius Randle scored seven points to trigger an 11-0 Knicks run that pushed the margin to 20. Ultimately, New York outscored Indiana 46-28 in the frame to take a 72-54 lead into halftime.

The Blue & Gold did their best to chip away at that margin after the intermission. Haliburton scored seven points to help lead the charge early in the third quarter. Mathurin's 3-pointer eventually made it a 93-85 game with 2:15 remaining in the quarter.

But the Knicks responded immediately with an Immanuel Quickley trey. Then, Toppin blocked Pacers rookie Kendall Brown's 3-point attempt, then raced ahead and threw down a between-the-legs dunk on the break. New York ultimately took a 103-88 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Pacers gave heavy minutes to their young players in the final frame. Mathurin scored five straight points with a layup and a three-point play in one early spurt, but the Knicks ultimately pulled away.

"We came out with some presence and some force (after halftime)," Carlisle said. "I think we won the third quarter, which is a good sign. But the transition dunks and the easy baskets...we've got to clean that stuff up."

Hield finished with 13 points and four assists while going 3-for-5 from distance. Duarte was the fourth and final Pacer to reach double figures, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

Barrett had 18 points for New York in the win. Jalen Brunson and Quickley each scored 17, while Randle tallied 15 points, seven boards, and four assists.

The Pacers and Knicks will have a rematch next week, as Indiana is set to host New York at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday. The Pacers will also host Houston next Friday to close out the preseason before opening the regular season on Oct. 19 against Washington.

Inside the Numbers

After going just 6-for-30 from 3-point range in Wednesday's preseason opener, the Pacers shot better from distance on Friday, going 13-for-33 (39.4 percent).

The Knicks turned the ball over just 10 times, while the Pacers had 19 giveaways which led to 32 points for New York. Indiana had forced 18 turnovers in Wednesday's win over Charlotte.

Both teams got to the free throw line a good amount, but New York was more efficient, going 26-for-27 from the charity stripe while Indiana was just 19-for-26.

Myles Turner went 0-for-4 from the field but pulled down a team-high nine rebounds in 17 minutes of action, once again sitting out the second half.

You Can Quote Me On That

"The game was fun. We lost, but it's a part of learning. It was great opportunity for me and the guys to get on the court before the season. I'm looking forward to playing many more games." -Mathurin on his preseason experience

"He's been consistent in terms of his ability to get in the paint, make open shots, and make plays. I love his approach. He's a young guy that's just 20 years old, but very mature, very professional in how he goes about his business. Very coachable. Wants to be as good as he can be, wants to be great." -Carlisle on Mathurin's first two preseason games

"Just giving up open threes. I feel like we laid back a little bit. We should have stayed aggressive." -Mathurin on what happened in the second quarter

"When the game gets physical, we have to be a team that rises to that challenge. New York's a very physical team...We're young, we're going to learn." -Carlisle

"Tyrese is a hell of a player. He's going to adjust. He's going to make the right reads. He'll learn from one game to the next. We've got to find ways to get him in the paint more. When he gets in there, he sees things so well and he finishes so well that so many great things happen." -Carlisle on Haliburton's performance

Stat of the Night

New York blew the game open with a 46-28 second quarter.

  • After not playing on Wednesday, third-year center Goga Bitadze logged 16 minutes Friday and tallied five points, eight rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.
  • Smith tallied seven points and three rebounds, but fouled out in 20 minutes of action.
  • Metta World Peace, who played for both the Pacers and Knicks during his 17-year career, sat courtside for Friday's contest.
Up Next

The Pacers and Knicks meet again on Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse at 7:00 PM ET.


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