Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points and the New York Knicks beat the Indiana Pacers 105-79 to even their National Basketball Association playoff series at one game apiece.
Anthony scored 22 points in the second half in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,033 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Pacers forward Paul George had 20 points in the loss.
The Knicks’ first Eastern Conference semifinal series since 2000 now shifts to Indianapolis for Game 3 in the best-of-seven contest on May 11. The oldest team in the NBA, with an average age of more than 31, New York has not had three full days off between games since the league All-Star break in the middle of February.
Anthony and Knicks coach Mike Woodson both said after New York’s 102-95 Game 1 loss on May 5 that the team was “outworked” by the Pacers, who grabbed 44 rebounds to the Knicks’ 30 and held New York to 19 3-point attempts, 10 below its regular-season average. Tonight, New York had 37 rebounds, two more than Indiana, and forced 21 turnovers.
New York led 29-20 after the first quarter and was ahead the whole way except for a two-minute span in the third quarter.
A layup by Anthony, who shot 50 percent compared with 32 percent in his previous four games, tied it at 64-64 with two minutes, 25 seconds to play in the third and triggered a 30-2 scoring run that gave New York control at 92-66 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
New York’s 105 points are the most they’ve scored in the playoffs this year. The Knicks are averaging 100 points against Indiana after scoring 87.6 per game on average in the opening round against the Celtics.
Also tonight in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 2 of their second-round series. The Thunder won the opening game.