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Balanced scoring helps Pacers force Game 7

Miles McBride #2 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers during the second quarter in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on May 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers defeated the New York Knicks 116-103 in Game 6, forcing Game 7 back at Madison Square Garden.

Pascal Siakam lead the Pacers in points with 25. His poise and experience were evident, consistently knocking down key shots for the Pacers.

“He was huge for us, getting a lot of early seals, helping rebound the ball,” Tyrese Haliburton said. “I thought he played one of his better overall games in a Pacers uniform, and what a great time to do it.”

But it wasn’t just Siakam on Friday night. It was a full team effort. They had six players hit double figures in points.

Myles Turner and Obi Toppin threw down thunderous dunks, igniting the crowd.

Haliburton hit three three-pointers and dished out nine assists.

T.J. McConnell provided his usual spark off the bench, with hustle plays and tough finishes at the rim. Pacers fans filled up Gainbridge Fieldhouse with chants of “T.J.” in the third quarter during a run in the third quarter.

“He’s a rock star,” Siakam said. “His energy, the way he plays the game, obviously being in Indy, the home crowd loves him and we love him.”

After a porous defensive effort in Game 5 on Tuesday, the Pacers were much more polished on that side of the court. They also cleaned up the defensive rebounding problems, limiting the Knicks to just 13 offensive rebounds. The Pacers even won the offensive rebounding battle, pulling down 14 of them.

“It was just activity,” Rick Carlisle said. “We played harder tonight, which was a must.”

The win on Friday keeps the Pacers undefeated at home so far in the playoffs, a perfect 6-0.

The Pacers have yet to win at Madison Square Garden in the best-of-seven series. Game 7 is set for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.