The Indiana Pacers fell short in their furious comeback against the New York Knicks, returning to .500 in an otherwise bad loss. The Pacers appeared in control early, leading 34-22 after one, but the second units for both teams switched the flow of the game, allowing the Knicks to crush the Pacers 64-31 across the middle two quarters.
Indiana trailed 98-82 with 7:43 remaining in the fourth and responded by going on a tear; a 17-2 run over the next five and a half minutes to bring the game to one. Paul George and Myles Turner lifted the Pacers with big plays galore, but in closing the gap, they weren’t able to contain Carmelo Anthony in the final minutes, with Anthony scoring five of his team high 26 to keep New York in the lead.
In the run, Turner had eight points, three rebounds, and two blocks as part of his 22 point, 10 rebound double double. Turner was on full display during that stretch, but much of it was making up ground for spending the first half glued to the bench with foul trouble. Turner also had a costly turnover that put the nail in Indiana’s chances of winning.
George meanwhile had 31 points and seven rebounds. He played as well as he has in some time, but still couldn’t get the better of Anthony, who worked George in for a layup and caught George and Jeff Teague on a switch for his two late field goals. Indiana shifted the starting lineup without Aaron Brooks tonight, putting C.J. Miles in place of Glenn Robinson III.
The switch, as well as moving Joe Young into the rotation, proved a disaster as Willy Hernangomez and Justin Holiday stormed the Knicks back into the game with little resistance. Al Jefferson was the only bench player in double figures with 13, while Young showed nothing in his brief six minute stretch.
Unfortunately for the Pacers, Monta Ellis turned his ankle late on a drive, which along with Brooks and Rodney Stuckey, could open the door for more minutes for Young. It’s do or die time for Young in a second unit that will be starving for a non-traditional post offensive threat.
The loss snaps a nine-game home winning streak against the Knicks, which just adds to the long list of already bad losses to teams on the outside looking in. Up next the Pacers will hit the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves, an unnecessarily terrifying game not only considering Indiana’s 6-16 road record, but also their abysmal 4-10 record on the road against non-playoff teams.