Game Rewind: Pacers 106, Knicks 99, Game 6
Saturday, May 18th, 2013 at 8:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 106, Knicks 99, Game 6
Scott Agness | May 18, 2013
Lance Stephenson had his moment on the big stage. Fitting, that it was against his hometown New York Knicks. Stephenson scored nine of his team-high 25 points (a new career high) in the fourth quarter to lead the Pacers during a critical stretch to close the game – and the series, 4-2. The Pacers beat the Knicks 106-99 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2004. The series will open in Miami on Wednesday.
It was a great shooting display from both teams in the opening quarter. The Pacers came out with a winning energy level, whipping the ball on offense and outscoring the Knicks in the paint, 14-2. They minimized their turnovers to three in the first quarter, and led by two after 12 minutes of play.
Sam Young came off the bench to lend a hand to Paul George in defending Carmelo Anthony, who scored 12 of his 20 first half points in the first quarter. Young kept Anthony in check and made hustle plays that gave the Pacers extra opportunities. Stephenson, who’s referred to as Gump in the locker room for the way he excels in the open court, proved to be the best player on the floor.The Pacers went on an 8-2 spurt to push their lead into double digits. At the break, the Pacers were in front, 55-47, led by 16 points and eights rebounds from Stephenson.
Iman Shumpert and Anthony scored 16 and 15, respectively, to lead a huge third-quarter run that pulled the Knicks even with the Pacers at 81 through three quarters. Shumpert was limited to six minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, but he hit three consecutive 3-pointers in a 65-second span, which jumpstarted a 12-2 New York run.
Related: My, How Lance Has Grown »
The Knicks shot their way into the lead, making seven consecutive 3-pointers after starting the game 5-for-17. With 5:03 remaining and down by two, Roy Hibbert recorded the most memorable play of the game. After Anthony muscled his way around George, Hibbert slid over from the weak-side and stuffed Anthony at the rim.
While Anthony missed a shot and recorded three turnovers on four straight possessions, Stephenson scored seven points in a row over the next 1:38 to give the Pacers a five-point lead. George Hill sank four free throws and Young added another as the Pacers, who didn’t turn the ball over once in the final quarter, held off the Knicks for the 106-99 victory.
Inside the Numbers
All five Indiana starters scored in double figures, led by Stephenson’s 25 points and 10 rebounds – his second career playoff double-double. Paul George had 23 points and David West tallied 17. With 21 points (nine free throws) and 12 rebounds, Roy Hibbert recorded his third double-double this postseason. George Hill had 12 points, including a perfect 7-of-7 shots at the foul line.
Carmelo Anthony finished with a game-high 39 points on 15-of-29 shooting. He led the Knicks in scoring in all six games.
Iman Shumpert connected on 5-of-6 attempts behind the arc and scored 19 points before fouling out. J.R. Smith added 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
The Knicks were perfect from the line – 18-for-18 – but the Pacers attempted 46 free throws and connected on 34 of them for a 16-point difference.
The Pacers outscored the Knicks in the paint 52-20 and won the rebounding battle 43-36.
“Unbelievable. He’s got no playoff experience whatsoever but he has some of the best basketball instincts I’ve been around. He’s a gamer…Put him in a situation like this, Game 6 and a close-out game, the kid’s got a lot of guts and great, great basketball instincts.” – Frank Vogel on Lance Stephenson’s play
“The last game I felt like I didn’t play to my ability. I couldn’t wait for this game; I couldn’t sleep. I was very focused for this game and it showed.” – Lance Stephenson
“He was a different person out there. I don’t know if there’s a guy in this league that can do some of the things he can do in that fast break…When he gets and it go and he’s determined to go, he’s a special player.” – Paul George on Lance Stephenson
“I was exhausted at one point. I just knew that I had to get a stop. Paul [George] had been doing a great job on [Carmelo Anthony]. I just wanted to make sure I protected the pin as much as possible.” – Roy Hibbert on his monumental block
“This is the most together group I've ever been a part of. We don’t have a bunch of ‘I’ guys, we have a bunch of ‘we’ guys.” – David West
“We’re going to celebrate tonight, have fun but we have a lot more work to do.” – Roy Hibbert
"This is not about getting back at Miami. When you make it to the final four, it's about winning a championship." – Frank Vogel
Stat of the Game
The Pacers had only nine turnovers – none in the fourth quarter. That is the lowest in their last 24 games.
- The Pacers were undefeated against the Knicks at home this season (5-0), and they also remain undefeated at home in the playoffs (6-0).
- J.R. Smith was assessed a technical foul in the second quarter.
- George Hill, who suffered a concussion in Game 4 and missed Game 5, was cleared to play around 1 PM on Saturday.
- Indy’s own Ed Carpenter, who qualified on the pole for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500, sat courtside and was recognized by the crowd.
The Eastern Conference Finals begin in Miami next Wednesday at 8:30 PM EST on TNT.