The New York Knicks have been dying for a break, and before game five, it was announced Pacers point guard George Hill would miss the game due to a concussion. The Knicks took advantage winning game five 85-75 avoiding elimination.
Hill originally suffered the injury in the first quarter of game four. He continued playing scoring 26 points, but didn’t feel any symptoms until yesterday.
With Hill out of the lineup, and Roy Hibbert in foul trouble essentially the entire game, the Pacers were all out of sorts offensively. Indiana committed 19 turnovers and had to rely heavily on D.J. Augustine at the point.
Bench play, rebounding, and free throw shooting were the key factors in this game. The Knicks bench, sparked by Chris Copeland outscored the Pacers bench 35-10. Copeland finished with 13 points including 3 for 4 from 3.
Indiana had 3 more rebounds than New York, but that was much better than the Knicks have been in the past few games. In game four, the Pacers out-rebounded the Knicks by 17.
The Pacers were effective getting to the foul line, but were dismal once they got there. Indiana was 19-33 (57.6%) from the line. The Knicks took 17 free-throws and made 14.
Carmelo Anthony came up big when it mattered the most for the Knicks scoring a game high 28 points including 6 in the last 5 minutes after the Pacers had cut the lead to four. Prior to this game, Anthony was 2-8 in elimination games in his career.
JR Smith played better than he has scoring 13 points on 4/11 shooting, and Raymond Felton was solid scoring 12 points. Jason Kidd was scoreless for the 9th consecutive game and played just 5 minutes. He did come oh so close to scoring, but his fast break lay-up attempt just rolled off the rim. Tyson Chandler while playing through foul trouble scored only 2 points grabbing 8 rebounds.
For the Pacers, Paul George scored a team high 23 points, David West had 17, and DJ Augustine had 12 filling in for George Hill who’s status is unclear for the remainder of this series. Lance Stephenson also played some point guard and had a poor game scoring 4 points on 1/7 shooting. Gerald Green and Ian Mahinmi each scored five points, and were the only Pacers bench players to score.
The Knicks will now travel back to Indianapolis for game 6 on Saturday night where they have yet to win a game this season. New York is seeking to become the 9th team to come back from a 3-1 deficit and win the series.
The health of George Hill is a crucial factor going forward. If he can’t go, Pacers coach Frank Vogel will continue to have to rely on DJ Augustine and may have to use Ben Hansrough if necessary.