Pacers win fifth in a row, beat Knicks 92-86
NEW YORK (AP) – Rodney Stuckey scored 17 points, George Hill made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:35 left, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 92-86 on Saturday night for their season-best fifth straight victory.
Hill had 15 points and David West finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana. They have won 11 of 13 and came in tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers had beaten the Knicks twice by a combined 44 points, including a 105-82 home victory Wednesday night, but this was a struggle throughout a night they beat Chicago.
Andrea Bargnani scored 21 points and Alexey Shved had 15 for the Knicks. They lost their third straight to drop to 12-49.
Consecutive baskets by Shved and two free throws by Lance Thomas gave New York its largest lead at 71-62 with just under 10 minutes remaining. The Pacers regrouped with their second unit on the floor, answering with a 16-4 run that put them ahead 78-75 on C.J. Watson’s four-point play midway through the period.
It was 83-all before Hill nailed his 3-pointer, and Stuckey followed with two free throws and a bank shot to put it away. The backup guard has been a catalyst in the Pacers’ second-half charge to postseason position and finished right about the 17.9 points he had been averaging since the All-Star break.
The previous four victories had all come at home, and the Pacers go right back to Indianapolis to play four straight there starting Tuesday against Orlando.
The Pacers, who never trailed Wednesday, had a 22-18 lead after one quarter. But they shot just 5 for 21 in the second and had just two baskets in the final 9 1/2 minutes, both by Stuckey. The Knicks outscored them 18-7 during that stretch and led 43-38 at halftime.
Indiana had only two more baskets in the first 5 minutes of the second half before West got the Pacers untracked with three straight jumpers for a 52-51 lead. New York led 63-60 after three.
Pacers: The Pacers have allowed 86 or fewer points and limited opponents to under 40 percent shooting in every game of their winning streak.
Knicks: Starting forward Lou Amundson missed the game with back spasms. Coach Derek Fisher originally said he expected Cole Aldrich to start, but the Knicks went with Jason Smith instead. Aldrich had eight points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
Pacers: Host Orlando on Tuesday night.
Knicks: Visit Denver on Monday night.