Game Preview: Pacers at Knicks
Monday, November 15, 2021 at 7:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden
After picking up consecutive wins against tough NBA opponents, the Pacers (6-8) are hitting the road once again for a three-game stretch. To kick things off, the squad is heading to the Big Apple to take on the New York Knicks (7-6) at Madison Square Garden.
The Blue & Gold showed their resilience again on Saturday night, taking care of business at home against the Philadelphia 76ers. Surprisingly, Indiana showed little signs of a hangover after spending a week out West. It was a dominant performance for many players, as six finished in double figures. Indiana has won five of its last seven contests and has already picked up a win against New York this season.
Meanwhile, it has been quite a rough November for the Knicks so far. They only have two wins to their name this month. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 10, they traveled to Charlotte to take on the Hornets and lost, 104-96. Coming into this matchup, the Knicks will have had two days of rest, giving them a slight stamina advantage.
New York is led by their All-Star forward, Julius Randle. The Texas native is averaging a double-double this year, recording 21 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest. However, against the Hornets, he tallied just 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Look for him to try to have a bounce-back performance against Indiana. The same goes for the Knicks' second-leading scorer, RJ Barrett (15.8 points per game). Barrett had an even worse night for New York against Charlotte, collecting just two points on 1-of-9 shooting.
The Blue & Gold hope to see T.J. McConnell's dominance continue. Once again, the Pacers' reserve guard played with extreme confidence, helping stave off the Philadelphia 76ers late in the contest. He has reached double figures in four of the past five games, scoring no fewer than 16 points during that run. Against the Sixers, he tallied nine assists off the bench, one fewer than Malcolm Brogdon's team-high. Not only has he filled the stat sheet, but McConnell's energy and scrappy defensive play have also lifted the squad as a whole. Taking advantage of the Pacers' lone home game during this stretch, he was spotted yelling at the crowd for them to stand up and cheer as the Blue & Gold took home the win.
After missing two games with lower back soreness, Caris LeVert returned to action Saturday night as well. He finished with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting in 24:46 of playing time.
Pacers: PG - T.J. McConnell, SG - Chris Duarte, SF - Caris LeVert, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Knicks: PG - Kemba Walker, SG - Evan Fournier, SF - RJ Barrett, PF - Julius Randle, C - Mitchell Robinson
Pacers: Chris Duarte - questionable (sore right ankle), Isaiah Jackson - out (G League assignment), T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)
Knicks: Nerlens Noel – questionable (right knee sprain)
Nov. 3, 2021: The Pacers picked up an impressive 111-98 victory over the Knicks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse fewer than two weeks ago. Despite multiple rally attempts from New York, Indiana took an early lead and never relinquished it. Myles Turner led the way for Indiana, scoring a game-high 25 points. The big man was 7-of-10 from deep and collected 13 boards and three blocks. Caris LeVert added 21.
After the Knicks cut Indiana's lead to 85-83, the efforts of T.J. McConnell and Goga Bitadze helped keep the squad in front the rest of the way. Malcolm Brogdon found McConnell in the right corner for a baseline three, a shot the guard had been working on all summer. On New York's ensuing possession, Goga Bitadze stripped Derrick Rose at the top of the key and went coast-to-coast for a layup. The five-point swing was enough to keep the Knicks at bay for the remainder of the game.
Indiana led 36-22 after the first frame, posting the only 30-point scoring quarter for either side during the contest. Turner tallied eight over the first 1:40 of the game. A three from Chris Duarte capped the 11-0 spree. The Blue & Gold led the period from there. Back-to-back threes from Bitadze in the second stopped a 14-7 Knicks run in the second. Indiana led 59-50 at halftime. LeVert was the star of the third, contributing a personal 7-0 run to keep New York from threatening.
- The Pacers have won four of their last five road contests against the Knicks.
- Pacers forward Justin Holiday spent one season with the Knicks (2016-17).
- New York holds a slight edge in the all-time, regular-season series, 94-91.
The Pacers will return from a three-game road trip to host the New Orleans Pelicans at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)