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Pacers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with Game 6 win over Knicks

May 19, 2013, 12:01 AM EDT

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Six Getty Images

The Pacers sent all five members of the starting lineup to the podium for the postgame press conference following their 106-99 Game 6 win over the Knicks, which goes a long way in telling the story of how they were able to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The team defensive effort that Indiana exhibits so well as a unit was critical to the team’s success, and the fact that so many different guys can step up and contribute offensively have made them a tough team to face in these playoffs.

The Knicks did what they could, and Carmelo Anthony gave everything he had. But as a team, New York couldn’t overcome some brutal individual performances and some timely defensive lapses in order to push the series to a seventh game.

Anthony finished with a game-high 39 points on 15-of-29 shooting, but only saw two of his teammates crack double figures in scoring. One of them was J.R. Smith, who never found his stroke after being suspended for Game 4 of New York’s first round series against the Celtics. Smith shot 4-of-15 from the field, and made three critical defensive mistakes late at a time when his team could least afford them.

The high point for the Knicks was a blistering third quarter run they used to get themselves back into the game, after the Pacers had extended their lead to 10 points. Iman Shumpert briefly caught fire, and hit three consecutive three-point shots to cut the Indiana lead to a single point in a span of just 64 seconds. He hit one more before the period was through, and he and Anthony accounted for 31 of the Knicks’ 34 points in the third, the team’s highest scoring quarter of the entire series.

The fourth quarter was close, with the Knicks clinging to a two-point lead with 5:43 remaining. But everything changed from there, following a monster of a blocked shot from Roy Hibbert, who met Carmelo Anthony right at the rim with hand on ball after Anthony had driven baseline and elevated for the slam.

“That was a helluva block,” Anthony said afterward. “It was a big play from Hibbert, and it kind of spearheaded the run that they made.”

The play from Hibbert ignited the Pacers, who went on a 9-0 run from there to gain separation before pulling away to seal it.

Much was made about the availability of George Hill for this game, following the concussion he sustained which forced him to miss the Game 5 that the Knicks were able to win in New York. He was cleared about 90 minutes before tip-off and played 42 minutes, but whether due to the couple of days off or whether there were any lingering effects, he managed to shoot just 2-of-10 from the field.

The catalyst for the Pacers was the fearless play of Lance Stephenson, who set the tone early by being aggressive in going to the rim whenever he had the opportunity. He finished with a team-best 25 points on just 13 shots, to go along with 10 rebounds.

Hibbert was a beast inside defensively, protecting the rim as well as we’ve seen this postseason. He finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocked shots in 42 minutes of action. Paul George had his typically solid all-around game with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists, and David West was a solid contributor with 17 points of his own. As a team, the Pacers shot 50.7 percent from the field for the game, and outscored the Knicks by 32 in the points in the paint category — thanks to the way they attacked and defended the basket, but also because of New York’s propensity to take plenty of shots from the outside.

All five starters for the Pacers deserved to be mentioned, just as they all deserved a trip to the podium after the victory. Indiana truly was the better team in this series, in every sense of that word. Anthony did his best in this one, but ultimately he couldn’t do it all by himself.

  1. cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Solid team. I’d love to see them win it all for Donnie Walsh.

    • deavn - May 19, 2013 at 1:01 AM

      yeah, about as solid as jello.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 20, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        6 games…Five. Different. Leading. Scorers.

        It alright…turn that frown upside down. The embarrassment will eventually subside.

    • fanofevilempire - May 19, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      how many steps do you get to take while cradling the ball at the foul line
      and you get the and one Mr. Stephenson?

      knicks-92
      pacers-90

      and then the refs took over.

      • metalhead65 - May 19, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        hey if you want more foul calls then try driving to the basket instead of standing outside shooting 3’s al night. and for the love of god do not talk about traveling without mentioning carmello to.

      • davidly - May 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        If you’re gonna moan about a lack of whistles against the walking violation, you may as well quit watching.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 20, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        Apparently…you get four.

        Larry Johnson.

  2. phreakin - May 19, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    The Knicks are gonna lose everytime Anthony is taking 30 shoys and Smith is the second leading scorer. All anyone has to do is look at this season. When Melo scores low to mid twenties, they win. If he’s taking a ton of shots they lose. I feel sorry for their coaching staff. They seem to be using D’Antoni’s roster trying to play a team and defensive game. Unfortunately they’re not gonna ever go deep with 2 black holes handling the ball. They need a true point and its not kid. Felton has BALLED yet Melo is running the offense. Get Amare involved at the 4 more and keep Chandler around. I think they could win if they traded Melo and kept the three of Felton, Amare and Chandler if they got a decent 2 guard and a shooting 3 that passes.

  3. adoombray - May 19, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    So, can we finally retire this notion of Carmelo + some role players can win a championship?

    one quality scorer, one good defender, and a bunch of streaky guys around them isn’t going to get you anywhere, and not even the almighty new york city can change that.

    • adoombray - May 19, 2013 at 12:25 AM

      actually, looking over the numbers some more, im gonna take back “good defender” – good rebounder and thats it, thats all Chandler is getting credit for in these playoffs.

      • davidly - May 19, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        Na, man, Chandler is an excellent defender. Hibbert too. But the diff was Indy’s great team D. Chandler didn’t have as much of that to help him out.

      • badintent - May 20, 2013 at 1:30 AM

        @davidly
        Chandler didn’t get the help that Hibbert did. Gret point. But I want to give credit to Pacers for a tough won series. NOw go kick some Heat Butt. ! And thanks to the New York Knicks Nursing Home for going much, much further than Anyone on this blog ever thought possible.

    • 4thquartermagic - May 19, 2013 at 2:09 AM

      Watching Melo try to learn how to pass in the fourth quarter of an elimination game was hilarious.

      Two passes, two horrific turnovers.

      Still got 40 pts though. Hang your hat on that Melo.

      scoring champ not world champ.

  4. metalhead65 - May 19, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    Go Pacers! just do not forget what got you here like you did last year when you got the lead on the heat. feed the beast that is Hibbert and things will go as they did tonight for you guys.

  5. xli2006 - May 19, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    The media tried their hardest to will the Knicks to a comeback… BUT the better, younger, more balanced team won.

    This is an enjoyable and likable Pacer team if people (and the media including PBT) just finally start to pay attention. They’ve been ignored and cast aside all year, not any more.

    • kinggw - May 19, 2013 at 1:13 AM

      They weren’t ignored. In fact, mid way through the season, they were touted as the big threat to the Heat this postseason. They were extremely mediocre down the stretch and were overtaken by the Knicks for the second seed. The Pacers are a good team, but they are inconsistent and their lack of scoring will be a problem against Miami.

  6. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 19, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Watched 2nd half in a bar in NYC. Gotta tell ya’, I think the refs screwed you.

    • cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 7:39 AM

      Are you practicing from your list of excuses for next round?

    • cerealspiller99 - May 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      Gotta tell ya’, I usually rely on a bunch of drunks in a NYC bar to tell me when the Knicks, Yankees, Rangers, etc. are getting screwed. How do you think I wound up owning some bridge in Brooklyn?

      • badintent - May 20, 2013 at 1:34 AM

        Got some beach front swamp land in Sheepshead BAy for ya ! Who’s first.?

  7. llindy86 - May 19, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    The Knicks committed a bunch of stupid fouls early in quarters…Shumpert had numerous reach ins and hand slaps to put the Pacers in the penalty. That’s where the other fouls begin to cause you problems. Couldn’t hang with the big boys. Look at those inside the paint numbers. Next. Oh and Lance dominated you.

  8. eventhorizon04 - May 19, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    The better team – particularly the better coached team – won.

    George + Hibbert slowed down Carmelo in pretty much every game this series – he got his points, but it took a lot of shots to get them. Guys like Stephenson and Hill had big games when needed. I thought Frank Vogel designed a smart defensive gameplan that the Knicks only began to crack towards the end of the series. Speaking of which…

    I have no idea what Woodson was thinking this series. At all.
    First, JR Smith was awful, yet never lost much playing time. JR Smith misses several shots in a row, then gets beat on defense by back-door cuts on back-to-back possessions, and yet he stays in the game?
    Second, Kidd was awful, while Prigioni made everything work better on both ends of the floor, yet Kidd only slowly began losing minutes.
    Third, Shumpert and Copeland were probably the most consistent Knicks players this series, yet they were underutilized. Shumpert is limited offensively, while Copeland is limited defensively, but man, when you have guys like Kidd and JR Smith who are playing poorly on both ends, having a couple of guys who are good at anything is an upgrade.
    Fourth, Tyson Chandler didn’t look right. I wouldn’t be surprised if a surgery is in his near future – his explosion was all gone.

    Not a Knicks fan, but it was disappointing to watch the small-ball team that won 50+ games abandon their identity in the playoffs. The series went to 6 games, but it wasn’t nearly as competitive as it could have been in part due to near indefensible coaching decisions by Woodson.

    • casualcommenter - May 19, 2013 at 1:02 AM

      This series never became fun to watch because the Knicks insisted on playing “out of character” basketball.

      All the data said the Knicks were better at everything – offense, defense, rebounding – playing small, yet the Knicks went big at times.

      All the data said Kidd and JR Smith were hurting the team more than they were helping (while Prigioni, Copeland, and Shumpert were boosting their team while they were on the floor), yet Kidd and Smith got huge minutes.

      That’s why I hate watching OKC Thunder games. I hate watching talented teams that have to win IN SPITE of their coach rather than BECAUSE of their coach. Woodson had 90+ games to figure out what worked.

    • reasonablemindsays - May 19, 2013 at 6:07 AM

      Yeah Woodson’s rotations this series may not have been the best, but he’s been a great coach for this team. D’Antoni leaving and Woodson stepping in was the biggest change for a roster that essentially stayed the same. Woodson reformed what was one of the worst defensive teams and turned it into one of the league’s best defenses. You can’t deny that Woodson has been great for the Knicks.

      • cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 7:42 AM

        He’s terrible when it comes to an offensive game plan. He goes too much isolation. He’s an assistant coach at best. He did the same thing in Atlanta. I’d love to see them go after Jerry Sloan.

  9. bigrele - May 19, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    “the Knicks were built to beat the Heat” Hahahahahahahahaha lol! Still believe that sh!t Mr Wright212? Lmao!

    • cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 7:49 AM

      Who’s this guy? Must be another one jumping on the bandwagon.

      • spthegr8 - May 19, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        @canton
        I don’t think he likes ANY team. He gets OFF by getting ON other ppl’s nerves. Ya see he is a “TROLL” & that’s what they do. It’s actually quite sad!!! SMH!!!

      • bigrele - May 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        Nah no bandwagon jumping here buddy just calling it like I see haters! As for you spthegr8 your correct on one thing that I don’t care for any team but that’s the only thing u got right fatboy! The REAL trolls are you pitiful sh!tbags that sit on these forums day & day out hating on Lebron & Co & that’s where I get my amusement, lmao at everytime your proven wrong just as you were some weeks back crying & moaning over ur beloved worthless pathetic Lakers & their embarrasing playoff sweep hahahahahahahaha! I thoroughly enjoyed lmao at ur whining crying posts lol! Havaniceday trolls! Holla!

      • spthegr8 - May 19, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        @big”TROLL”
        I have NEVER hated on LBJ. I think he’s the best in the world and the Heat are the best team. I’d be shocked if they don’t win it all. Personally, if my team doesn’t win it all. I could care LESS who does. You are the worst kind of troll. You don’t have a team but your on here defending LBJ like your Kevin Costner and he is Whitney Houston. What are you, his Internet Body Guard??? Your a Front Runner, a bandwagoner!! SMH!! You really are a PATHETIC individual. Get a life you D**K ridding “TROLL”!!!!

      • bigrele - May 19, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        @sptrollgr8, Yo mama’s a d!ick riding troll b!tch! YOU get a life ya fatfukk crybaby loser! The only pathetic freaking pitiful troll on this board is you! You spend every waking day of your life riding other peeps jock over something you know nothing about so kiss my friggin azz you worthless pantsy! Do like the rest of your worthless lakerlosing bunch & beat it ya bum!

    • 1972sxwife - May 19, 2013 at 7:58 AM

      Love the wimps that are talking trash after the fact.

      • bigrele - May 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        Naw b!tch I called it BEFORE the fact & love it when u fake azz internet tough guys call peeps u don’t know or see “wimps” when in actuality YOUR the worthless weak azz wimp; I called the Heat back to the Finals before the playoffs started & if any of you had ANY basketball sense & knowledge you’d accept it. All the calls for the Pacers is just wishful thinking & dreaming when everyone knows they gonna send the Pacers to the house, bottom line!

      • spthegr8 - May 19, 2013 at 3:19 PM

        @big”TROLL”
        Seems I touched a nerve. LLS!!! Looks like I “TROLLED” the “TROLL”!! Gotten 2!!! It’s too EASY!!!

  10. pantsfreezone - May 19, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    Didn’t watch it because I was trying to get laid (unsucessfully) but I did call Pacers in 6 AND I won $200 bucks from my buddy who bet me the Knicks would make the ECF so we can call it a wash.

    Miami in 6.

    • Kevin S. - May 19, 2013 at 6:50 AM

      You can get a hooker for less than $200, so I’d say you came out ahead there.

      • cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 7:44 AM

        less than $200? Then you’ll need a good $1,000 to rid yourself of the std.

      • badintent - May 20, 2013 at 1:40 AM

        come to Canada, land of the horny bison(hockey player) $100 gets it done, bring your own wrappers.

    • cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 7:47 AM

      Unsuccessful because as usual, you talked too much. Combine that with your ugly looks & you had no shot.

      • pantsfreezone - May 19, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Actually I was unsuccessful because her friends played c-blockers at the bar last night. But she texted and showed up at 4am this morning on her own for some of that good half-asleep-half-drunk-boom-chicka-bow-bow. She ate the bones trying to get the pipe.

        When you are built like a marathon runner and have my wit and smile, striking out is a rare thing, my friend. Enjoy your offseason.

    • cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      If that makes you feel better, believe what you want. Just trying to give you some advice. Maybe you’re use to going home alone? I’m not judging you.

  11. jamesmichaelworm - May 19, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Pacers shot 28 more free throws foul disparity was 2 to 1 and they won by 7…yea they are far superior…one team had the reputation of being physical and when the other team matched them physically the got a foul called on em….that Kenyon Martin foul in the fourth was a joke and that melo charge was even worse

    • jaerba - May 19, 2013 at 4:00 AM

      The Kenyon Martin call was bad, I think the Melo charge was fine.

      The Pacers are the tougher team, but they’re disciplined and tough. Hibbert is great at maintaining verticality and George would constantly bump Melo and keep him from penetrating, but he wouldn’t reach in that often.

      That’s why the Knicks got so many fouls. They’ve definitely improved on defense under Woodson, but they still go for too many reach ins and get caught. Despite being one of the top defenses in the league, the Pacers are actually near the bottom in terms of steals, meanwhile Knicks are #11.

      In this series the Knicks had 44 steals, the Pacers only had 25. That’s where the foul discrepancy comes from. The Knicks had almost 20 more steals, but in doing so also committed the easiest to spot/most frequently called foul in the game.

      Plus they suck at the whole verticality thing. The play where Chandler fouled out was such a bad decision. It would’ve been a difficult shot anyways, no reason to jump out at Stephenson.

    • metalhead65 - May 19, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      you and your overrated team lost deal with it! you don’t get foul calls shooting 3’s. the pacers got them because the thugs you have on the court can’t play defense. knocking guys down then standing over them talking trash is not defense.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 20, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      Pacers play straight up…man-to-man defense. They move their feet, don’t reach and don’t slap. Couple this with the fact EVERYONE takes the ball to the hole.
      The Knicks?
      Reaching, slapping, swatting, feet stuck in wet cement defense. Couple this with the fact EVERYONE shoots jumpers…and what do you get?

  12. jamesmichaelworm - May 19, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    @RealMikeWilbon: I will say this:some baaad calls on Melo and KM

  13. mungman69 - May 19, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    It looks to me that the Pacers can beat the Knicks just about every time. This series could be ” best of 13 ” and the Pacers would still win.

    The playoff games are so different than the regular season games. Teams actually play defense in the playoffs.

    Sad to see Jason Kidd play so poorly. Father Time caught him. Hall of Fame?

    I like Indy but it’s Miami in 5.

  14. rickyspanish - May 19, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    mungman69

    Why is there a question mark on hall of fame? Isn’t considered to be a first ballot?

  15. geicocaveman - May 19, 2013 at 2:38 AM

    As a Sonics fan lets go Pacers

    • cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      As a basketball fan, let’s go Pacers!

      • fanofevilempire - May 19, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        I can’t watch anymore of that BS, Miami, I hope you sweep, and
        you get Memphis, that I would watch!

  16. vilelabyrinth - May 19, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    irrelevant who won this series..neither team can/could/will beat the heat.

    • cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      Stay classless, bandwagoner.

    • fanofevilempire - May 19, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      wasn’t okc supposed to make it the Finals too, Wade is a cripple, be very careful.

      • vilelabyrinth - May 25, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        I hope you are correct! Even as a knicks’ fan, I want to see the pacers win.

  17. justmike817 - May 19, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    I’ve been a die-hard Knick fan for 45 years and let’s face it, the current Knick team was a lot of smoke and mirrors. Could anyone actually SEE them winning a championship with this crew? They couldn’t rebound, they lived off the 3-point shot and occasional tough defense. Tyson Chandler is one of the most vertically-challenged centers I’ve ever seen, more like a throwback to guys like Neal Walk and Darrel Imhoff. Carmelo Anthony is no Michael Jordan or LeBron or even Reggie Miller. How many nights was there almost no point production from the guards? And J.R. Smith? Shame on him for his immaturity. Was the partying fun? Hope so. The Knicks bench, so glorified by the press, became an albatross. Did Novak play at all? Did Camby? I don’t remember. Jason Kidd never got a chance to really get going. Stoudemire was useless, “nuff said. And have we ever seen a team complain and whine so consistently about the officials? Honestly, I’m surprised the Knicks got past Boston because THEY DID NOT HANDLE ADVERSITY LIKE REAL PROS. So, who do we blame? Everyone from the coach on down. Anyone notice Donnie Walsh with that cat-who-ate-the-canary smile?
    Let’s hope Heat/Pacers is a good tough series. That would be a nice consolation prize for watching the Knicks go down in flames. Again.

  18. indyshepherd - May 19, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    It’s too bad that the Pacers won’t have a realistic chance at advancing to the NBA Finals. It would become a nightmare scenario for the NBA, and David Stern won’t allow it. Heat in 7.

    • badintent - May 20, 2013 at 1:50 AM

      Herr STern would do something like that ? naaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. He IS angry about his rabbi missing on his foreskin…………
      Remember the Pacers ,Laker Finals ? That was over in about 20 minutes.Bad TV ratings

  19. dysraw1 - May 19, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    well that’s it, big up to the Pacers. they kept their composure and did what they had to do. not mad at my guys they made a lot of progress. here’s hoping they continue

  20. yousuxxors - May 19, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Knicks and pacers are going back and forth all 4th quarter with Pablo in the game and then woodson puts felton in and they don’t score for the last three minutes. woodson panic and didn’t do what got them there.

  21. goodfellas17 - May 20, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Easy series for the Pacers. On to the Heat.

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