It was the Knicks' first game with Phil Jackson as team
president. Jackson, who was named to the position Tuesday, received
a standing ovation from the Garden crowd when he was introduced in
the first quarter.
New York trails the idle Atlanta Hawks by three games for the final
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (28-40) with 34 points and
forward Amar'e Stoudemire added 21.
Anthony is averaging 28.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists
during the streak. He is one of five players to average double
figures during this revival, joining Stoudemire (17.3), guard J.R.
Smith (15.0), guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (13.3) and center Tyson
Shooting guard Lance Stephenson led the Pacers (50-18) with 21
points and center Roy Hibbert scored 20 points. Forward Paul George,
the Pacers' top scorer this season, scored 17 points.
New York seemed to feed of the excitement generated by having
Jackson, a member of the Knicks' last championship team in 1973, in
"There is energy in the city," said Knicks coach Mike Woodson.
"Bringing Phil back is huge for this franchise."
Jackson's presence a few rows up was not lost on the Knicks.
"It was awesome and well-deserved," said Stoudemire of the ovation
A dunk from Anthony with 3:23 to go put the Knicks ahead 84-77 and a
jumper from guard Raymond Felton iced it at 88-80 with 1:01 left in
With the Pacers on the Knicks heels, trailing 67-66 early in the
fourth quarter, New York got some space, outscoring the visitors
11-5 to move ahead 78-71 with 5:35 to play.
"We didn't make enough plays down the stretch and Carmelo (Anthony)
was sensational," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "We had a poor
shooting night and a poor offensive execution night.
Indiana's vaunted defense came around in the third quarter. New York
went 6:50 without a field goal and saw its lead dwindle down from 16
points, 51-35, to four points at 60-56 with 2:33 left in the
quarter. Indiana used a 19-7 blitz to get back into the game after
trailing for most of the first half. Hibbert scored eight in the
Pacers run, but New York was still able to maintain a 67-62 lead
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The Knicks played one of their more aggressive half's of the season,
nailing 12 of 14 shots from the line en route to a 47-35 advantage.
George suffered through a difficult first half, scoring only three
points on 1-for-8 shooting with three turnovers.
The Pacers got to within two points at 23-21 with 9:57 left in the
second quarter before the Knicks went on an impressive 16-2 run that
opened their lead to 39-23 with 6:08 left. Stoudemire dominated in
the burst with eight points.
Anthony contributed eight points to help the Knicks to a 21-14
first-quarter lead. New York took advantage of seven Indiana fouls
in the quarter, converting nine of its 10 free throws.
The Pacers defeated the Knicks in their two previous games by a
combined 28 points and eliminated them in the second round of the
Eastern Conference playoffs last year.
"They (Knicks) are playing a lot more confident," said Vogel.
"Amar'e and J.R. (Smith) are playing great. Tyson (Chandler) was out
with injuries earlier in the year and when he came back he didn't
seem like he had his timing right away, but it's coming back.
"They're getting healthy, they have a great coach and they're
turning it around. Give them credit."
NOTES: After Wednesday, the Knicks play six of their next seven
games on the road. ... Indiana has recorded 17 come-from-behind wins
after trailing at the half this season. ... The Pacers rank first in
the NBA in points allowed in the paint, allowing an average of 35.5
points per game. ... Going into Wednesday, Pacers C Roy Hibbert
blocked at least one shot in 13 straight games. ... Pacers backup C
Andrew Bynum missed his second straight game with a sore right knee.
... F Carmelo Anthony has led the Knicks in scoring in 60 of their
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