Game Rewind: Pacers 104, Knicks 103

Game Recap

After falling to the Detroit Pistons yesterday, the Pacers (15-8) buzzed over to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks (4-19) on the second night of a back-to-back. Despite boasting the NBA's worst record, the Knicks nearly pulled off the upset. The Blue & Gold escaped with a 104-103 victory after Julius Randle's second of two free throw attempts bounced off the back of the rim with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. The victory caused New York's losing streak to extend to nine games.

With the win, Indiana finishes its first five-game road trip of the season with a decent 3-2 record, and evens its record on the second night of a back-to-back to 2-2. The win also gives the Pacers a nice boost in confidence heading into their next two games, which feature two of the NBA's top teams, the L.A. Clippers and the Boston Celtics.

T.J. Warren tied New York's Marcus Morris for a game-high 25 points, including 11 in the third quarter. Domantas Sabonis notched his 18th double-double of the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Myles Turner added a game-high five blocks, including three in the final 1:09 that helped Indiana cling on to a 104-102 lead as time ticked down.

In total, five Pacers players finished in double figures, including Doug McDermott, who finished as the night's top bench scorer with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-4 from long range.

Making his ninth start of the season in relief of Malcolm Brogdon, Aaron Holiday finished with 12 points, four boards, and five assists. Brogdon sat out for the entirety of the game after suffering a dislocated pinky finger against the Pistons yesterday night.

The Pacers struggled to keep New York out of the paint early in the first. Rookie RJ Barrett drove right and found space for an emphatic right-handed dunk that pushed the Knicks' lead to 14-7 and forced Pacers head coach Nate McMillan to call an early timeout with 7:40 remaining in the period.

During the next segment of play, Indiana managed to pull off an 8-3 run to close the gap to 17-15 on Warren's putback jumper off his own miss.

The Pacers then regained the lead, 25-24, at the 2:12 mark of the quarter. T.J. McConnell, who has provided energy off the bench all season, drove the right baseline and found Turner streaking to the basket for the easy two-handed slam.

Justin Holiday drilled a 3-pointer for his first bucket of the game with 1:00 remaining to stretch Indiana's lead to 32-27. The score remained the same as time expired in the frame. After New York started the game 7-of-8 from the floor, Indiana limited the Knicks to just 11-of-24 (45.8 percent) shooting in the quarter.

But the Knicks didn't let Indiana run away with it. In less than a minute of action, New York began the second quarter on a 7-0 run and grabbed a 34-32 lead after Kevin Knox II drilled a wide-open 3-pointer from the left wing. However, McDermott then responded in a big way.

The sharpshooter responded to the run with a magnificent four-point play from the right baseline. Despite falling to the floor after receiving contact from Knox, McDermott's three fell through the net. He connected on the subsequent free throw to grab a 40-36 lead with 9:27 left in the half.

The game remained close for the next several minutes. Jeremy Lamb's three in the face of Morris with 4:19 remaining in the half pushed the Pacers lead to 51-47. But, Morris and Mitchell Robinson quickly responded with back-to-back buckets to tie the score at 51-51.

With 28.5 seconds remaining, Turner's three gave Indiana its largest lead of the half, 66-58. But Morris responded with a layup with 7.9 seconds remaining to trim Indiana's lead to six as time expired.

Indiana's managed to stretch the lead to 74-66 early in the third quarter thanks to eight consecutive points from Warren in less than three minutes. But they still couldn't figure out how to stretch the lead to double digits from there.

The Knicks managed to close the gap to 74-71 on Julius Randle's driving layup with 6:43 left to play in the frame. After Lamb connected on a jumper, Morris responded with a three-point play on the other end to cut Indiana's lead down to two. Moments later, he continued his stellar night by nailing a 3-pointer to push the Knicks ahead 77-76 with 4:39 left to play in the third.

Luckily for the Pacers, Warren was feeling it too. With 3:07 left in the third, he finished a tough three-point play at the charity stripe for his 11th point of the quarter, and grabbed a 79-78 lead for the Blue & Gold. The tough play down low began a 13-3 Pacers run to close out the quarter and enter the final frame with an 89-81 lead.

The Pacers grabbed their first double-digit lead of the game at 92-81 after McDermott drilled his third 3-pointer of the game immediately out of the break. That was short lived, however, as New York rattled off a 14-4 run to close the gap to 96-95 on a Morris 3-pointer with 7:28 left to play in the game.

Less than two minutes later, Aaron Holiday broke a 98-98 tie with a deep 3-pointer from the right wing. On the next Pacers possession, Jeremy Lamb completed a three-point play that included an impressive one-handed running jumper to put Indiana ahead 104-98 with 5:17 left to play.

Despite going cold on the offensive end, the Blue & Gold then held New York to just two field goals over the final five minutes to keep a 104-102 lead with time ticking down. Turner's first huge block came on Morris' jump shot with 1:09 remaining.

Despite having several chances, Indiana just could not buy a bucket down the stretch to seal the game. Arguably the most heartbreaking attempt was Lamb's baseline shot that traveled halfway down the basket before popping out and into the hands of Robinson.

With 2.0 seconds remaining, Turner denied Robinson's layup attempt, but the ball fell into the hands of Randle. Randle rose up and drew the foul on Aaron Holiday with 0.1 seconds left. After sinking the first, he left his second free throw too long. The ball bounced harmlessly away from the rim, and the Pacers escaped with the victory.

Inside the Numbers

Despite playing off the bench, T.J. McConnell finished the game with a game-high 11 of Indiana's 26 assists in just 19:36 of game time.

Indiana finished with nine blocked shots, marking the fourth time this year they've denied at least nine in a game.
Doug McDermott and Justin Holiday finished a combined 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, providing clutch buckets in big moments.

The Blue & Gold posted a paltry 15-point fourth quarter performance, its second-worst performance in a quarter this season. They scored just 14 points in the second quarter against Milwaukee on Nov. 16.

You Can Quote Me On That

"It means a lot, whenever you can win a road trip and go three and two, it's a big thing. We'll take that all day. Obviously, we let one get away in Detroit, but bounce back against a hungry Knicks team it's a successful road trip." – Doug McDermott on finishing the road trip

"We knew it was going to be a tough game regardless because of the coaching change. They're a dangerous team because they play with a lot of energy, the crowd is amazing, they get into it and if we mess around like we did today and don't take care of business early, things like this happen." – Domantas Sabonis on what the Knicks did to make it a tough game

"I think we really lean on everyone playing together. We got a lot of guys that can do a lot of great things any given night. I think that's what we rely on. With Malcolm (Brogdon) going out, guys like Aaron Holliday. TJ McConnell, they step up and play well – can't ask for anything better than that in a situation like this. When guys go down and step up like that, it's big and gives the team a lot of confidence." – T.J. Warren on their good record without star players

Stat of the Night

Indiana held New York to just one field goal over the final 5:05 to help scrape out the victory. Turner had four of his five blocks in that span.


  • Including tonight's loss, NBA teams are 21-8 in their first game after a coaching change.
  • Indiana has now won seven straight against New York, with their last lost coming on Nov. 5, 2017.
  • T.J. McConnell's 11 assists were a season high.
  • Doug McDermott finished in double figures for the third-straight game. It's the second time he's done that this season.

Up Next

After a five-game road trip, the Pacers will return home to host Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Special Offer - Pacers Win

Jack's Donuts: Visit your local Jack's Donuts the day after a Pacers victory and mention the Pacers win to receive a free 12-ounce coffee or donut with any purchase. Visit JacksDonuts.com to find the Jack's Donuts nearest you.

Special Offer - Pacers Score 90+ Points

Papa John's Pacers90: The day after the Pacers score 90 or more points, you score 50 percent off online pizzas at regular menu price. Order online at papajohns.com with promo code PACERS90. Offer valid in Central Indiana.