Pacers at Knicks (Preseason)

Game Rewind: Pacers 104, Knicks 125 (Preseason)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 7:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden

Game Recap

The Pacers took the floor for the first time in the 2021-22 season on Tuesday night in New York, ultimately dropping their preseason opener to the Knicks, 125-104.

Rookie guard Chris Duarte scored a team-high 15 points and also tallied five assists to lead four Pacers in double figures in the game. Justin Holiday added 13 points, going 5-of-7 from the field and 3-for-3 from 3-point range.

Manning the sidelines for Indiana for the first time in 14 years, head coach Rick Carlisle played his starters just in the first half of the first exhibition game. His counterpart, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau, opted to keep his starters in longer, playing them into the third quarter.

The Pacers got to the rim early in Tuesday's contest, converting layups on three of their first four attempts. But they missed their next six shots as the Knicks reeled off 10 unanswered points.

Holiday scored eight points in the opening frame for Indiana, but New York controlled the quarter, leading by as many as 13 and taking a 36-26 advantage into the second quarter.

Rookies Duarte and Isaiah Jackson checked in late in the first quarter and combined for 12 straight Pacers points over five-minute stretch spanning the end of the first and beginning of the second periods.

"It's crazy, having my first game at Madison Square Garden," Duarte said after the game. "It felt good. I felt good out there. First time playing an NBA game, just trying to learn. Trying to learn from mistakes and trying to learn each and every day."

The Blue & Gold got within seven with 3:30 remaining in the first half, but the Knicks finished with a flourish as Julius Randle's buzzer-beating basket gave the hosts a 67-55 lead at the intermission.

Carlisle elected to start Indiana's second unit in the third quarter, but they struggled out of the gates, missing their first six shots and committing four turnovers over the first 4:30 of the second half. The Knicks' starters took full advantage, opening the frame with a 15-0 run to break the game open.

The Pacers eventually found some offensive rhythm, knocking down five 3-pointers over the final 6:30 of the third quarter — including two unexpected triples from T.J. McConnell — but they still trailed entering the fourth, 101-80.

Carlisle went deeper into his bench in the fourth quarter. There were some highlights, including five quick points from Keifer Sykes to open the frame and a pair of blocks by Goga Bitadze, but the Pacers never seriously threatened the lead the rest of the way.

"Our focus needs to continue to be on defense," Carlisle told the media after the loss. "We have to play with a certain attitude on defense and I thought that tonight we came up short in that area on a lot of possessions...We've got to play with more edge."

Myles Turner tallied 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, and a block in the loss, while McConnell had 10 points and four rebounds. No player logged more than 20 minutes for Indiana on Tuesday.

Randle had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks in a game-high 30 minutes. RJ Barrett added 17 points while going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc for New York.

The Pacers will return to action on Friday night, when they travel to Cleveland to take on Collin Sexton and the Cavaliers. Indiana will then host Memphis and Cleveland next week at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to wrap up preseason play.

Inside the Numbers

All 17 healthy players on the Pacers training camp roster saw the floor on Tuesday, with everyone playing at least six minutes.

Duarte and Domantas Sabonis (six points, eight rebounds, and three assists) played a team-high 20 minutes.

Jackson logged 13 minutes off the bench in his first preseason contest, tallying four points and four rebounds, but also picking up three fouls.

Indiana went 15-for-44 (34.1 percent) from 3-point range on Tuesday. New York was 11-for-37 (29.7 percent).

The Knicks outscored the Pacers 56-38 in the paint.

You Can Quote Me On That

"I thought he did a lot of good things. His length, athleticism, he gives us another dynamic creator that can score. He did a lot of good things. He made some mistakes, too, that are correctable mistakes, but when you're in your first NBA game, these kinds of things can certainly happen. But overall he's a fearless guy and I love the way he played." -Carlisle on Duarte's performance

"Coaches and everybody always tell me if you're open, let it fly. I can shoot the ball. That's what I'm here for, to shoot the ball and make plays for my teammates." -Duarte on taking a team-high 11 shots

"I think we kind of came out coasting a little bit. I think that group of New York came out there and they asserted themselves early and I don't think we responded quick enough." -Turner

"It takes time. This is the first preseason game. To people watching it might look like there's a disconnect, but it doesn't happen overnight where you gain chemistry like that. It takes time. We've got to keep building that chemistry in practice and feeling out each other's tendencies and how we play with each other. I'm excited for this group. We've got to just continue to build." -McConnell on playing with several new faces with the second unit

Stat of the Night

The Pacers forced New York into just four turnovers on the night, while committing 16 giveaways themselves.


  • Caris LeVert (sore lower back) made the trip to New York, but did not dress for Tuesday's contest.
  • Rookies DeJon Jarreau, Terry Taylor, and Duane Washington Jr. also saw their first preseason action on Tuesday, each logging six minutes. Jarreau and Washington are on two-way contracts, while Terry is on an Exhibit-10 deal (training camp contract).
  • The Knicks were without big men Mitchell Robinson (sore right foot) and Nerlens Noel (sore left knee).

Up Next

The Pacers and Cavaliers will meet in Cleveland on Friday, Oct. 8 at 7:00 PM ET for the first of two preseason contests between the Central Division rivals.


The Pacers host Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat for Opening Night presented by Gainbridge on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 PM ET. Secure your seats today and help fill Gainbridge Fieldhouse to cheer on your Pacers. Find Tickets »

Game Recap: Knicks 125, Pacers 104

The Knicks defeated the Pacers, 125-104. Julius Randle led the Knicks with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Kemba Walker added 12 points, three rebounds and four assists in the victory. Chris Duarte

Postgame 211005

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Game Recap: Knicks 125, Pacers 104

The Knicks defeated the Pacers, 125-104. Julius Randle led the Knicks with 20 points and nine rebounds, while Kemba Walker added 12 points, three rebounds and four assists in the victory. Chris Duarte
Oct 5, 2021  |  00:02

Pacers Postgame: October 5, 2021

October 5, 2021 - Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle and players Myles Turner, Chris Duarte, and T.J. McConnell recap the 125-104 loss against the New York Knicks is the Pacers first preseason game.
Oct 5, 2021  |  12:36

Block by Goga Bitadze

October 05, 2021: Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks - Highlights of Goga Bitadze
Oct 5, 2021  |  00:07

3-pointer by Oshae Brissett

October 05, 2021: Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks - Highlights of Oshae Brissett
Oct 5, 2021  |  00:07

Brogdon to Basket

Brogdon to Basket
Oct 5, 2021  |  00:08

Holiday For Three

Oct. 5, 2021 - Justin Holiday knocks down the three.
Oct 5, 2021  |  00:07
by Wheat Hotchkiss Writer/Editor

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