The Knicks vs Pacers matchup needed to end in a win and it did. The New York Knicks used 28 points and 10 rebounds from Julius Randle to defeat the Indiana Pacers 110-107 to improve to 17-17 on the season. It was the first time the Knicks pulled to .500 on the season since the team was 8-8 on January 21st.
Main Knicks vs Pacers headlines
RJ Barrett added 24 points in Knicks vs Pacers, while Derrick Rose had 17 points, and Immanuel Quickley had 10 points. Getting to .500 is a big deal for the team that won only 21 games last season.
Living possession to possession
Despite the Pacers leading by 16 points at one point and the Knicks by nine points, the game was a hard-nosed, possession-to-possession matchup that felt close the whole time. Doug McDermott led the Pacers with 20 points, while TJ McConnell added 17 points. All-Star replacement Domantas Sabonis finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.
The crowd was loud in Knicks vs Pacers
Thanks to a 17-3 run, capped by a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the buzzer by Derrick Rose, the Knicks trailed 54-52 at halftime. During the run, the crowd of 1,981 at Madison Square Garden chanted “Dee-fence.” The crowd was rowdy the whole night, which ended up giving the Knicks enough of an adrenaline rush to close out the game.
Big plays down the stretch
The Pacers outplayed the Knicks in the first half of the fourth quarter. The Pacers led 96-93 after a charge called on Randle. However, Barrett recovered and hit a three-point shot to give New York a 98-96 lead. Then, Randle hit a three of his own and the team never lost the lead. Randle, Nerlens Noel, and Frank Ntiliknia hit free throws down the stretch.
Knicks vs Pacers game analysis & commentary
It was a great week for the Knicks after beating the Timberwolves and the Kings this week. However, what turned around was the defense. The team defense had slipped as the team’s average of 104.4 jumped by nearly a whole point. The team prioritized their defense tonight.
Great shooting percentages
The Knicks shot 12-of-24 as a team from three-point range and then made 18-of-24 free throws. That comes out to 50% and 81% respectively. Games are won at the free-throw line but this was by far one of the most efficient nights shooting the ball we have seen from New York in a long time.
When Rose was first acquired, many thought he would be flipped to a contending team. With the Knicks sitting at the No. 5 seed, the team might hold onto him now. Rose was very efficient last night with 17 points and 11 assists.
The Knicks have a prime opportunity ahead as the team can get over .500 with a win over the 9-24 Detroit Pistons on the road.