|New York @|
|113 - 112|
"That's the first time in my life that I ever made a shot like that," said Sweetney, who scored the game-winning shot in the final second of New York's 113-112 overtime victory on Sunday. "It's the first time I ever won a game at the buzzer."
The winning basket followed a miss by Stephon Marbury, and Sweetney finished with a career-high 20 points as the Knicks ended a nine-game losing streak, their longest in 20 years.
"Stephon went to the hole and they tried to block it, but it fell right into my hands and I just tipped it in," Sweetney said.
The Knicks blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter before a 3-pointer by Kurt Thomas, his second of the season, sent the game to overime tied at 104.
The Pacers, who had their season-best six-game winning streak end, were ahead 112-106 with a minute left after a driving layup by Reggie Miller, who led Indiana with 34 points.
But Sweetney, whose previous high was 19 points three times this season, made a basket and a free throw to pull the Knicks within three points. Jerome Williams then stole the ball from Stephen Jackson, and Marbury hit a layup to cut the lead to one with 31 seconds to go.
Marbury, who had 17 points and a season-high 19 assists, missed a free throw that would have tied the game. But New York got the ball back when Indiana was called for a 24-second violation on the next possession. After a timeout, Marbury drove into the lane and missed, but Sweetney was there for the rebound and winning basket.
"We wanted to get the ball in our best player's hands and let him make a play," Knicks coach Herb Williams said. "He did a good job of not settling for a jumper and taking it to the basket."
After the basket by Sweetney, officials looked at a replay and determined the shot was good, and the Knicks huddled at midcourt to celebrate.
"You know what? New York deserved to win," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "They were the more determined team. We're not good when we're not doing everything right."
Jamal Crawford led New York with 32 points. Kurt Thomas, whose 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime, added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Jackson finished with 27 points for Indiana, while Anthony Johnson added 18 points and a career-high 16 assists.
"It's disappointing, because we were up in regulation and we gave up a big 3 to Thomas in the corner," Johnson said. "In the overtime, being up six, our defense got away from us. I took some bad shots and we turned it over.
The Knicks, saddled with their longest losing streak since they lost 12 straight in 1985, hit eight of their first nine shots and took a 19-11 lead before Thomas went out with his second foul midway through the period.
Even then, New York continued hitting, and an 8-0 run on consecutive baskets by Crawford, Marbury, Sweetney and Marbury again gave the Knicks their biggest lead at 30-17.
Indiana closed to 51-48 at halftime and tied the game twice late in the third quarter before Crawford and Sweetney scored six each in a 12-0 run. Jackson and Johnson combined for 23 points in the fourth quarter as Indiana came back again.
Two free throws by Miller gave the Pacers a 104-101 lead before Thomas hit his tying 3-pointer.
Jackson went to the locker room for the final minute of the third quarter and first two minutes of the fourth quarter after he took a hard hit to the head from teammate Scot Pollard. ... Thomas had his 30th double-double this season, one short of his career high. ... The Pacers and Knicks split their four-game season series. ... The Knicks had lost 13 of their last 14 games at Conseco Fieldhouse. ... The Pacers can clinch a playoff spot with victories Monday at Toronto and at home Wednesday against New Jersey. ... Miller (25,182) needs 11 points to pass Jerry West for 12th place in NBA career scoring. ... The Pacers set a team record with 34 3-point attempts but hit only 11.