On Thursday night, at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (#2 Seed, 54-28) defeated the Indiana Pacers (#3 Seed, 49-32) 85-75.
The Pacers now have a 3-2 lead in the Best of 7 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 28 points on 12-28 shooting from the floor. He added six rebounds, one steal and was only 1-3 from three.
J.R. Smith scored 13 points on 4-11 shooting from the floor. He added six rebounds, two assists, one block and three steals.
Paul George led the Pacers in scoring with 23 points on 7-18 shooting from the floor. He almost had a triple double as he also had six rebounds and six assists.
David West had 17 points on 7-17 shooting from the floor. He added 10 rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Raymond Felton had 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and three of the Knicks 12 steals.
The Pacers had a 43-40 edge in rebounds over the Knicks but turned the ball over 19 times compared to 10 times by the Knicks.
Anthony has now scored at least 21 points in 15 consecutive playoff games which is the second longest streak in the NBA.
The Knicks did not trail in the entire game after not having a lead in Game Four in Indiana.
The Knicks bench outscored the Pacers bench 35-10.
This is the first time in the last five times the Knicks were down 3-1 in a series where they won Game 5.
The Knicks are now 4-2 this post-season at home.
Step one in this comeback attempt is complete for the Knicks.
This is the kind of effort that they have needed to have in every game of this series. They picked a perfect time to show it considering the fact their backs were against the wall.
The game tonight never actually felt in doubt, which may sound odd considering it hovered around single digits for the most part. But with George Hill out with a concussion, the Pacers seemed a little out of sorts and the Knicks made just enough shots to end any run that the Pacers had.
This game was basically, in terms of how the flow went, similar to what we saw in Game Four. You didn’t understand how the game was as close as it was and yet the Knicks made enough big shots to keep the lead.
It was really nice to see Jason Kidd have his best game of the post-season tonight. His cheer leading from the bench was top notch and he did a great job standing up and sitting down at the right times.
In his place Chris Copeland was finally allowed to play significant minutes and low and behold, he produced. With J.R. Smith playing better but still struggling a bit overall, Copeland was needed.
He shot the ball very well, wasn’t a disaster on defense and helped to spread the floor and work within the offense. The Pacers have been clogging the paint and daring the Knicks to shoot jumpers and Copeland made them pay.
Carmelo Anthony played well but still had to work very hard to get his 28 points. The grind he has been through in these two series has been very tough. He worked his way through it and made a ton of big baskets in the fourth that kept the Pacers from getting close.
From a coaching standpoint, I thought Mike Woodson did a solid job of working his rotation and having them ready to play. The energy was much better and you can tell they had a lot more confidence playing at home.
On offense it was amazing how many of their shots rimmed out. They had good ball movement for the most part and had a nice balance during crunch time of running isolation or pick and roll.
This was the kind of game we saw from them early in the Boston series. Now we have to hope they can do it all again in a place that has been a house of horrors for them.
Game Six is the toughest of the games because the Pacers will be motivated to end the series and do it in front of their fans. The Knicks have been so bad playing in Indy and will need to have the energy and effort they had tonight to get a win there.
The series and the season for the Knicks is not over. They gave the home fans at least one more memory. Now they will have to step it up to a whole new level and will try to get the biggest road win this franchise has had in years on Saturday.
Coming up next, the Knicks will head back to Indianapolis looking to avoid elimination again and force a Game Seven as they play Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against Paul George, David West and the Indiana Pacers. The game is Saturday at 8 pm and can be seen on ESPN.