With Prez Phil Jackson in the building, Carmelo Anthony poured in 34 points (12-23 FG, 10-11FT) as the Knicks extended their Eastern Conference-best seven game win streak against the Pacers.
It was a gritty, defensive game as the Knicks only shot 39% from the field ( vs the Pacers 43%) and both clubs shot under 25% from three. Paul George continued his recent shooting struggles, shooting 4-17 from the field (2-9 3FG).
Amare Stoudemire held his ground amongst the Pacers frontline with 21 points, while Tyson Chandler handled the dirty work with 14 rebounds.
Knicks Last 14 Games:
|First 7 Games||Since|
The Good – The Knicks dominated in the first half, (35-47 @ the half) thanks to 14 points apiece from Melo and STAT.. Hustle was the name of the game for the Knickerbockers, who played a little role-reversal and out-rebounded the Pacers in the contest 55 to 46.
The Bad – Roy Hibbert (20 pts, 8-10 FG) jump-hooked the Knicks to death with a 14 point third quarter, cutting a 16-point deficit to 5. Lance Stephenson (21 pts, 9 reb) brought his trademark scrappy play in the 4th quarter, but turnovers late cost them the game.
The Ugly – Up 90-83 with 13.9 seconds left in the game, Tyson Chandler fouled Paul George shooting a 3-pointer. Had no impact on the outcome, but come on. When will the tomfoolery end?
The Difference – The Pacers made it a game late in the fourth, but Carmelo’s dunk off a post spin with 3:22 left and subsequent jump shot energized the Knicks. Lance answered with a 3 to make it 80-86, then turned it over with just over a minute left. The Knicks worked the clock, Raymond Felton hit a jumper, and it was a done deal.
Playoff Picture: The Knicks showed some playoff moxy tonight in a win versus the top team in East. If the Knicks sneak into the playoffs, this first round match up looks like it could go the distance.
P.S. – Phil Jackson made his MSG debut as president of basketball operations. Here’s his standing ovation from a hopeful Knicks crowd :