Carmelo Anthony did all he could scoring a game high 39 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Indiana Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 9 years winning game six 106-99.
Indiana won the game in the paint outscoring the Knicks 52-20 as well as on the break. The Pacers had 12 fast break points to the Knicks 0.
After being diagnosed with a concussion in game four, it looked like there was no way Pacers point guard George Hill would play in game six, but he passed all the tests giving his team a major spark. Hill scored 12 points and played 42 minutes. Although he was just 2/10 from the field, Hill’s leadership running the offense was extremely valuable for Indiana.
The best player on the floor for the Pacers though was Lance Stephenson. Stephenson scored a team high 25 points including 9 in the last five minutes and added 10 rebounds. When the Pacers need a play, Stephenson was there to deliver.
The Knicks put forth a valiant effort in the loss. New York trailed by 12 with 8 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter before Iman Shumpert caught fire. Shumpert hit three consecutive three’s in 1 minute 42 seconds to tie the game at 72 and had 19 on the night.
The game was tied at 92 with 3:57 to go, and it was Indiana who was able to close the deal finishing the game on a 14-7 run led mainly by Lance Stephenson. Like Stephenson, Roy Hibbert had a big time bounce back game. Hibbert had 21 points, a game high 12 rebounds, and was a huge force in the paint with 5 blocks. New York didn’t have a block in the game.
Paul George had a solid game scoring 23 points and David West had 17. Indiana’s bench didn’t play much of a factor scoring 8 points for the game.
Tyson Chandler played his worst game of the series and was no match for Roy Hibbert in this one. Chandler was in foul trouble the entire night playing just 23 minutes and scoring 2 points. Kenyon Martin was forced to play 22 minutes at center Indiana took advantage.
Raymond Felton was brutal for the 2nd time this series. Felton was 0-7 from the field and scored only 2 points. Pablo Prigioni hit 2 early three’s, but didn’t do much after that scoring 6 points.
The Pacers were flat out the better team in this series and deserved to win. As for the future of the Knicks, there are many questions that need to be answered such as Amar’e Stoudemire’s health going forward, Jason Kidd’s NBA future, and what the Knicks are going to do with JR Smith who will be a free agent.
The Pacers will be moving on to face the reigning NBA Champion Miami Heat in the Conference Finals. In three games against the Heat this year, Indiana won 2. The Pacers averaged 3 more points per game, and out rebounded Miami by nearly 11 per game. Game one is scheduled for Wednesday night at 8:30pm from Miami.
**For the 10th consecutive game, Jason Kidd was scoreless. Kidd hasn’t scored since game 2 of the Celtics series played on April 23rd.