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Carmelo, Knicks stay alive vs. Pacers
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 16, 2013 @ 10:57 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
NEW YORK — Distilled to the core, basketball teams win by making shots no matter how impressive the opponent’s defense is.
The New York Knicks simply had not made enough shots in the past two games – losses to the disciplined, defensive-minded Indiana Pacers.
On Thursday, facing elimination at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks made just enough shots and defeated the Pacers 85-75. It wasn’t pretty – like much of the series – but New York’s season isn’t over.
Trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, the Knicks are trying to become the ninth team to come back from a 3-1 deficit and advance. Game 6 is Saturday in Indiana (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), and New York’s victory ensures the Eastern Conference finals will start Wednesday in Miami.
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 28 points, reserve guard J.R. Smith and reserve forward Chris Copeland each added 13. Raymond Felton scored 12 points, and the Knicks took advantage of Indiana starting point guard George Hill’s absence. D.J. Augustin started in Hill’s place.
Hill was diagnosed with a concussion on Thursday and is listed as day-to-day. But under the NBA’s concussion policy, Hill cannot return to game action until he passes a series of escalating physical exams, based on preseason tests Hill took at the start of the season.
Indiana shot just 36.2% from the field, and it cost itself a chance to end the series with poor foul shooting. The Pacers made just 19 of 33 free throws.
All-Star forward Paul George handled a majority of the offense with 23 points and six assists. But Pacers coach Frank Vogel confessed before the game he really couldn’t ask George to do more with Hill out.
“He’s also guarding the best forward in the game (Anthony) for 45 minutes and carrying our offensive scoring load as well,” Vogel said. “So I don’t know how much I can ask of him more than what I’m already asking.”
After changing his starting unit in Game 4, Knicks coach Mike Woodson inserted guard Pablo Prigioni back into the starting five and brought forward Kenyon Martin off the bench.
“That’s been good for us … [For more on Carmelo Anthony, Knicks stay alive vs. Pacers in Game 5, click here.]
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