Last Updated: April 8 at 4:00 PM
After an emotional victory on Sunday night, the Pacers (34-43) will look to avoid a letdown on Wednesday in New York, when they face the Knicks (15-62) for the final time this season. Indiana has already won three games against the Knicks, owners of the worst record in the NBA, by an average of 16.7 points per game.
The Blue & Gold are coming off the team's best weekend of the season. They blew out the Hornets on Friday, then did the same to the Heat on Sunday, as All-Star forward Paul George made his season debut. George's emotional return from a fractured right tibia and fibula made for an electric atmosphere at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, bringing out the best in George and his teammates.
Playing limited minutes as he works his way back into game shape, George managed to score 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Fellow wings Solomon Hill and C.J. Miles combined for 36 points and eight 3-pointers, while forward Luis Scola scored 17 points in the fourth quarter en route to his ninth double-double.
George's return had pretty much everyone in the city smiling, but Sunday's win was more than just a sentimental moment. The victory vaulted the Pacers back into ninth place in the Eastern Conference, just one game back of Boston for the final playoff spot with five games to play.
Given their current situation (the Celtics own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Indiana), the Pacers still likely need to win most, if not all, of their remaining games to get back into the postseason for the fifth consecutive year. Winning both games on this upcoming road trip (Indiana heads to Detroit on Friday to face the middling Pistons) is essentially a necessity.
"We've got two more games coming up against teams that are not in the playoff mix," Scola said after Sunday's win. "We've got to take advantage of that, get those two wins. We can't control what the other teams will do, we just can control what we will do."
Pacers: PG - George Hill, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Solomon Hill, PF - David West, C - Roy Hibbert
Knicks: PG - Shane Larkin, SG - Langston Galloway, SF - Lance Thomas, PF - Lou Amundson, C - Andrea Bargnani
Pacers: C.J. Watson - out (sore right elbow), Chris Copeland - out (injuries to abdomen and left elbow)
Knicks: Cleanthony Early - doubtful (sprained left ankle), Carmelo Anthony - out (left knee surgery), Jose Calderon - out (sore left Achilles), Alexey Shved - out (incomplete rib fracture), Travis Wear - out (sore lower back)
Hardwood Classics Night
As part of the NBA’s Hardwood Classics program, the Pacers will be wearing their iconic Flo-Jo jerseys on Wednesday. Wednesday's game will be the sixth and final game in which the Pacers will wear the jerseys, which they originally wore from 1990-97, this season. Flo-Jo Photo Galleries, Highlights, and More »
March 7, 2015: The Knicks led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter, but the Pacers rallied to win at Madison Square Garden, 92-86. George Hill's 3-pointer with 2:34 left broke an 83-83 tie and gave Indiana the lead for good.
Rodney Stuckey led Indiana with 17 points and four assists. David West scored eight of his 14 points in the third quarter and also collected 11 rebounds. George Hill finished with 16 points and five rebounds, while C.J. Watson added 13 points off the bench.
Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani led all scorers with 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting, but fouled out with 3:22 to play and was sorely missed in the final minutes. Alexey Shved added 15 points off the bench for New York.
- The Pacers will be looking to sweep the season series with the Knicks for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
- Luis Scola needs one more point to reach 8,000 for his career.
- Damjan Rudez leads all NBA rookies by shooting 41.3 percent from 3-point range this season.
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5/1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)