Game Rewind: Knicks 98, Pacers 92
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FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
On today’s game: “We got into some foul trouble with Paul George and the other guys. Brandon (Rush) was playing a lot of minutes and that really gave us an opportunity to give guys the ball. T.J (Ford) was having a good game tonight and I trust when he is on the court.”
More on today’s game: “We got off to a good start and we played really well with the small lineup until the end of the third quarter. I like the lineup we used, I think it gives us an opportunity to get a little more pull offensively, our big power forwards have struggled defensively just in terms of knocking down shots so we at least have this lineup as an option.”
On Guarding Amare Stoudemire: “We tried to track him and Jeff (Foster) was our best chance on Stoudemire by far. I think Jeff did a good job. We knew after Jeff, it would be a challenge guarding Stoudemire.”
PACERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER
On today’s game: “We shouldn’t have won. We didn’t shoot the ball too well, but they didn’t shoot it particularly great either. We had too many turnovers down the stretch - in the last five minutes we had four or five turnovers and that can’t happen in a close game.”
On guarding Amar’e Stoudemire: “He’s a tough guy to guard, they give him the ball and everyone’s spaced out with shooters and it works. He’s so strong down there, he’s playing very well.”
On finishing games: “We didn’t finish this one well, but we’ve finished other games. You can always work to get better; we just turned the ball over down the stretch too many times. Gave up a few three’s. Amar’e (Stoudemire) hit a tough shot. They’re a good team.”
There was no New Years hangover for the New York Knicks as they defeated the Indiana Pacers 98-92 at Madison Square Garden. Amar'e Stoudemire took control in the fourth quarter, on the way to a game-high 26 points. All five Knicks starters scored in double-digits, as did Toney Douglas off the bench. Danny Granger led the Pacers with 25 points and Darren Collison scored 22 points.
"Bad defense on my part. I got beat a couple of times."
-- Ronny Turiaf on what he did to tie a career-high with six blocked shots.
Stoudemire has turned into a closer for the Knicks. He leads all NBA players with 7.3 points-per-game in the fourth quarter. He scored nine points today in the fourth quarter to finish off the Pacers, including six of the last seven Knicks points of the game.
With the Knicks holding a narrow 91-90 lead, Stoudemire made a strong move along the baseline and finished to give New York a 93-90 lead with 2:43 remaining. He then scored his team's next two baskets to close out the win for the Knicks.
Granger had a banner day at the Garden. In addition to his 25 points, he grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds. He is averaging 5.5 rebounds per game this season but in his last three games he has grabbed a total of 29 boards. He has also gone to the offensive boards harder, as he had seven offensive rebounds against the Knicks.
Raymond Felton has been quiet after arguably out-playing Derrick Rose in the Knicks' Christmas Day win over the Bulls. In that game he had 20 points and 12 assists, but in the three games since, he has averaged just 13.7 points-per-game and accumulated 13 assists total. He struggled against the Pacers, scoring 14 points but dishing out just two assists while turning the ball over five times.
Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points in 29 minutes before he left with an injury in the fourth quarter. He sprained his left knee and did not return. Gallinari will have an MRI tomorrow but there is no timetable set for his return yet.
For the Knicks, Tuesday vs. San Antonio, Friday @ Phoenix, Sunday @ Los Angeles Lakers. For the Pacers, Friday vs. San Antonio, Saturday @ Atlanta, Tuesday @ Philadelphia.