Anthony, Knicks hold off Pacers, avoid another heartbreaker loss
Coming after dramatic losses in the previous games, the Knicks knew what they needed to do in order to win. Keep their opponents under 60 points at halftime and avoid choking late in crunch time.
After a very slow first quarter and after trailing by 14, the Knicks played a tremendous second quarter, outscoring the Pacers 40-24 and finishing the first half leading 62-58.
Their effort fueled them throughout the third quarter, which they started on a 13-2 run, to find themselves up by 15 in the early minutes of the second half.
But as the game went into the 4th and final quarter, the not so old memories were becoming vivid again. With little over 7 minutes to be played, trailing by 16, the Pacers went on a 17-2 run to get back in the game and push for a win.
Paul George made a couple of free throws that tied the game at 103, with 42 seconds on the clock, nullifying the Knicks lead for the first time in the second half.
The Knicks were once again facing a situation where they were about to give away a close game. But this time, Carmelo Anthony took a 14-foot turnaround jumper, contested by Jeff Teague, that went right in.
“I knew if they switched, all I had to do it was get a little bit of space and just an eyesight of the rim and shoot over Teague.”
– Carmelo Anthony
The Pacers had 23 seconds to respond but Myles Turner turned the ball over and this time the Knicks would triumph with a 109-103 road victory.
Anthony led Knicks with 27 points while Derrick Rose followed with 20.
Willy Hernangomez was in double double off the bench, with 14 points and 10 rebounds and alongside Brandon Jennings (9 points and 6 assists), he was a major part of the Knicks second quarter run. Coach Hornacek was especially impressed by the hard work Hernangomez is putting.
“He’s playing great. He’s rolling hard, he’s just got a good feel for the game. Word to be, he knows he can flash and get the ball. He runs ahead us, he rolls hard to the basket (…) those are big plays. He’s a young player and he’s playing great for us.”
Justin Holiday was another solid bench piece. He played 32 minutes and scored 13 points, nailing three shots from behind the arc in key moments.
The Knicks improve to 20-26 and tomorrow night they will play the Mavs, in Dallas.