Jeremy Lin scored 19 points to lead the New York Knicks to their third straight victory under interim coach Mike Woodson, a 102-88 National Basketball Association victory over the Indiana Pacers.
“Our hearts are right and it was a total team effort,” Woodson told reporters. “I couldn’t be more proud of the team than I am tonight.”
Woodson took over the team when Mike D’Antoni resigned March 14 after the Knicks dropped six in a row. His three wins include back-to-back victories over the Pacers.
Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire each scored 16 points for the Knicks, who had a 60-51 advantage over Indiana at halftime at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Pacers were led by Roy Hibbert who had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Paul George with 18 points.
“I thought our guys played with a lot more fight than they did last night,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said, referring to the team’s 115-100 loss to the Knicks. “We closed the gap, but couldn’t get over the hump.”
The Knicks (21-24) are in eighth place, the final playoff spot, in the Eastern Conference, 15 games behind the Chicago Bulls. The Pacers own fifth place, 10 games back from the leader.
Before last night’s game, Woodson added assistant coaches Jim Todd and Darrell Walker to his staff, replacing Dan D’Antoni and Phil Weber who left when Mike D’Antoni resigned.
Todd comes to New York from the Sacramento Kings where he was an assistant coach this season. He was Woodson’s assistant with the Atlanta Hawks from 2008-10, and coached in China from 2010-11.
Todd and Woodson both served as assistants under coach Chris Ford in Milwaukee from 1996-98.
Walker, a former Knicks player, was an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons from 2007-10. He also worked with the New Orleans Hornets and the Toronto Raptors where he was promoted to head coach in 1996-97 and compiled a 41-90 record over two seasons.