At home at Madison Square Garden against the Indiana Pacers, the Knicks were ready to forget their first and only loss of the season in their last game and start a new win streak with an 88-75 effort over the Indiana Pacers. The Knicks remain a perfect 4-0 at home and 7-1 overall.
Both teams shot poorly in the first quarter, but Carmelo Anthony’s 12 points contributed to a Knicks’ three-point lead at 21-18 at the quarter’s end. The Pacers shot 31.8 percent and the Knicks slightly better at 33.3 percent.
Jason Kidd left the game after three minutes of play after Pacers’ Lance Stephenson buried a tooth into Kidd’s head as Kidd attempted a three-point shot. Kidd converted three free throws and left the game to receive seven stitches. He returned to play in the second quarter.
The Pacers shot just 26.3 percent in the second quarter and scored a paltry 12 points. The Knicks shot 33.3 percent in the quarter to go up 41-30 at the half.
Anthony topped all scorers with 16 points after two quarters of play. The Pacers’ Paul George scored 10 points in the first half and was the only other player in double figures. The Pacers had ten turnovers in the first half to the Knicks two, but out-rebounded the Knicks. The Pacers second chance points kept them in the game. However, the Pacers couldn’t overcome their turnovers, finishing the game with 19 of them that led to 18 points for the Knicks.
Indiana picked up the pace of play in the third quarter and their scoring improved. David West made three quick baskets, but two baskets by Felton and one by Tyson Chandler matched West’s output. Ronnie Brewer contributed eight points in the quarter that ended with the Knicks ahead 68-56. The Knicks extended their lead to 16 points with seven minutes remaining in the quarter, but the Pacers fought back, scoring only one point less than the Knicks in the quarter, 27-26.
In the fourth quarter the Knicks extended their lead to 16 again with baskets by Rasheed Wallace, Anthony, and J.R. Smith. The Knicks boosted their lead to 21 with a three-pointer by Steve Novak with less than three minutes left in the game. By this point the Knicks starters were enjoying the game from the bench. The scoring was a dismal 20-20 in the fourth quarter.
This was the first game that the Knicks out-rebounded their opponent with a slight 48-47 advantage; the Pacers are the second-best rebounding team in the NBA. The Knicks held their turnovers to just 9 and the Pacers were only able to make five points off of the Knicks’ turnovers. The Pacers blocked seven shots to the Knicks’ four. The Knicks poached nine steals to the Pacers four.
The Knicks pushed their shooting percentage for the game up to only 36.7 percent by the end of the game. The Pacers were slightly better, shooting 39.4 percent. The Pacers also bested the Knicks behind the three-point line. The Pacers shot 40 percent from downtown to the Knicks’ 28 percent. Even so, Anthony’s 26 points, Smith’s 13, and Felton’s 11 were sufficient for the win with the lesser scoring of six other Knicks.
George led the Pacers with 20 points, followed by 14 by West. The Pacers got points from nine other players, but they never led the game.
The Knicks play next on the road against the Hornets in New Orleans on Tuesday night.