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Big problems in the Big Apple for Pacers in Game 5 loss

Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers is held back by teammates after an altercation during the third quarter against the New York Knicks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 14, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (WISH) — The third quarter didn’t start rough for the Pacers.

They went into halftime trailing the Knicks by 15 points and started the quarter on a 9-1 run, cutting the lead to seven. Then, everything unraveled. The Knicks went on a 19-1 run, leading by as many as 25 points in the third quarter.

The Pacers went 6:04 without scoring a point. They went seven full minutes without making a field goal.

The Pacers lost to the Knicks 121-91 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Knicks now hold a 3-2 series lead.

Game 5 was the third game of the series that the Pacers faltered in the third quarter. In Game 2, they took a 10 point lead into halftime. That evaporated into a ten point deficit, as the Knicks outscored the Pacers 36-16 in the third frame. In the Game 3 win at home, the Pacers were also outscored by double figures in the third. They had a five point lead at halftime, and that was flipped into a five point lead for the Knicks by the end of the quarter.

In Game 5, the Pacers only lost the quarter by six points, but it was the way in which it happened. The long scoring drought helped the Knicks build on their lead and recapture all of the momentum.

Jalen Brunson returned to superstar form for the Knicks. After two off games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Brunson lit the Pacers on fire for another 40+ point performance, racking up 44.

The Pacers were outhustled on the offensive glass by a glaring margin. The Knicks got 15 more offensive rebounds than the Pacers.

Game 5 was also much chippier than the first four games. Play was stopped multiple times for reviews. Isaiah Jackson and Isaiah Hartenstein were both called for technical fouls in the second quarter after Jackson plowed into Donte DiVincenzo on an illegal screen. Hartenstein got into Jackson’s face afterwards and they were both given technical fouls.

Two more technical fouls were handed out in the third quarter, this time to DiVincenzo and Myles Turner. The two players got into each other’s faces after DiVincenzo was called for a foul. Teammates and referees had to separate the two in the middle of the court.

Offensively, the Pacers were lead by Pascal Siakam with 22 points. They still shot well from the field, especially from three point range where they knocked down 12 on 44%. But it was the drought in the third quarter and the porous defense that lead to their demise.

The Pacers host the Knicks for Game 6 on Friday needing to win to extend the series.