Pacers Dominate Knicks in Game 4, Lead Series 3-1
The Indiana Pacers finally figured it out.
When given the chance to take command of a playoff series, they can't give it back. On Tuesday night, they didn't.
George Hill scored 26 points and Paul George had 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, leading the Pacers past the New York Knicks, 93-82 and to within one win of their first conference finals appearance since 2004.
"We wanted it," George said. "For us to come out with that edge, still, after being up 2-1 and being on our floor for Game 4, for us to be up and ready and have an edge to play, it just speaks to how focused we are right now."
A year ago, the Pacers held a 2-1 lead over Miami but gave away Game 4 and never won again. Miami went on to win the NBA crown.
So the Pacers went into Tuesday night determined not let it happen again, certainly not with former stars Reggie Miller and Rik Smits in the house watching their old team hand it to their old rivals.
The Pacers were strong defensively again, had another big rebounding advantage (54-36) and never really let the Knicks challenge them in the second half. They can wrap up the series Thursday night in New York.
Desperate New York tried everything to change the script. Nothing worked.
NBA scoring champion Carmelo Anthony finished with 24 points before fouling out with 2 minutes left in the game. He took only four shots in the fourth quarter and was held without a basket over the final 12 minutes for the second straight game.
Smith, the NBA's top sixth man, scored 19 points, most coming in a futile attempt to rally his team late.
New York dropped to 0-4 at Indiana this season. The Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies are the only playoff teams that are unbeaten at home. Indiana has won all five home games by double digits and has won five of its last six overall.
New York is convinced it can get things turned around quickly after losing five of its last seven, mostly because of horrendous shooting.
"It's do or die, we got to win the next game," Anthony said. "But there's no need for anyone to hang their heads at this point. We've still got a game to play, we've still got to play basketball and we've got to do it being very confident and knowing and believing that we can do it."
Courtesy of (AP)