Pacers shrug off slow start, pull away from Knicks 103-82
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Rodney Stuckey scored 22 points, Roy Hibbert had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers routed the New York Knicks 103-82 on Thursday night.
The struggling Pacers (17-31) picked up their most lopsided home victory of the season by winning for only the second time in 10 games.
Carmelo Anthony scored 18 points, 12 in the first 9 minutes for the Knicks (9-38). Lou Amundson added 17 as New York managed just 33 second-half points and fell behind Philadelphia for the worst record in the East.
Indiana turned the game midway through the second quarter, by rallying to take a 54-49 halftime lead.
The Pacers then opened the second half on a 10-2 run that extended the lead to double digits. Indiana pushed the margin to as much as 34, sealing the outcome.
It was downright ugly.
The Knicks were 14 of 42 from the field in the second half and were outscored 35-12 in the decisive third quarter.
It sure didn’t appear it would go this way when Anthony’s early scoring flurry staked the Knicks to a 27-16 lead.
But the Pacers rallied after he went to the bench. They turned the game with a 10-2 run midway in the second quarter, a run that ended with Hibbert’s 10-foot hook shot that gave Indiana a 44-39 lead.
The Pacers never trailed again.
Hibbert also accounted for eight of the first 10 points in the spurt to start the second half. And then the Pacers just kept pulling away.
Knicks: Thursday’s third-quarter collapse was yet another bleak chapter in the Knicks’ season-long struggles. New York was just 4 of 19 from the field in the quarter and couldn’t keep up with a team that has struggled mightily on offense over the past two weeks. The loss prevented New York from posting back-to-back wins for the third time this season.
Pacers: Indiana’s injury woes are still mounting. Paul George continues his recovery from a broken right leg, and on Thursday coach Frank Vogel said point guard C.J. Watson will probably spend the rest of the season playing through soreness in his feet. Swingman C.J. Miles was limited to just 13 minutes because of a strained left groin and backup center Lavoy Allen limped to the locker room late in the first half with a sore right knee. Allen did not return.
Knicks: Hosts Lakers on Sunday.
Pacers: Host Kings on Saturday.