Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers to an 82-71 win over the New York Knicks in their National Basketball Association playoff series.
The Pacers own a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“We came out strong and aggressive,” Hibbert said in a televised interview. “They’re a talented team. All and all, it’s a good effort for us.”
In a Western Conference game yesterday, the Memphis Grizzlies took a 2-1 lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder with an 87-81 victory.
In today’s game, the Golden State Warriors host Game 4 against the San Antonio Spurs, who have a two games to one lead in the Western Conference series.
The Pacers moved out to a 36-33 halftime advantage before outscoring the Knicks 26-20 in the third quarter and then opening up as much as a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter on their home court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
George Hill had 17 points and Paul George contributed 14 points for the Pacers, who host Game 4 on May 14.
Carmelo Anthony, who averages 28.7 points per game, was held to 21 points as he connected on 6-of-16 field goal attempts and only one 3-pointer for the Knicks.
“They outrebounded us, they won the hustle today, the little things,” Anthony said. “It all came down to us not scoring the basketball. We can’t beat anyone scoring 71 points.”
Amar’e Stoudemire returned after a two-month absence to go 3-for-8 from the field to score seven points, including one 3-pointer, in the nine minutes he played. J.R. Smith, who had a 102-degree fever during the morning, added nine points.
“Offensively, we just didn’t have anything,” coach Mike Woodson said. “I thought defensively, we hung in there and did what we had had to do, but we just didn’t have any offensive pop and we have to figure that out.”
At FedExForum in Memphis, Marc Gasol scored 20 points and Mike Conley and Tony Allen each added 14 for the Grizzlies, who host Game 4 tomorrow.
Kevin Durant had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder and Reggie Jackson added 16 points and 10 rebounds.