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Pacers surprise Knicks 102-95 in Game 1

NEW YORK (AP) - David West scored 20 points, Paul George added 19 and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 102-95 on Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

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D.J. Augustin had 16 points for the Pacers, who built a 16-point lead while Carmelo Anthony was on the bench in foul trouble in the third quarter, and easily held on to spoil the Knicks' first second-round game since 2000.

Anthony finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, but was frustrated by the Pacers' rugged defense and by the referees. He shot 10 of 28 from the field.

Game 2 is here Tuesday night, and then the series takes a lengthy break before Game 3 on Saturday in Indiana.

The Pacers, who allowed the second-fewest points per game and the lowest field goal percentage in the league during the regular season, mixed in solid offense as well. They outscored New York 59-38 across the middle two quarters and were comfortably ahead throughout the fourth.

Roy Hibbert scored 14 points in thoroughly outplaying counterpart Tyson Chandler, and George Hill also had 14 for the Pacers.

J.R. Smith scored 17 points but was 4 of 15 for the Knicks. Raymond Felton had 18 and Kenyon Martin added 12 for the Knicks, who hope to have reserves Amare Stoudemire (right knee surgery) and Steve Novak (back spasms) back for Game 3 and certainly looked as if they could use the help.

Both teams wrapped up their first-round series Friday night, the Knicks' victory in Game 6 in Boston giving them their first series victory in 13 years and sending them on to face a familiar postseason foe in Indiana, which ousted Atlanta.

The teams met three straight years from 1993-95, then again from 1998-00, splitting their six series, and this was the type of slugfest so many of those matchups were.

Indiana led 60-54 when Anthony committed his fourth foul and came out of the game with 7:48 remaining in the third quarter. The Pacers then outscored the Knicks 21-11 the remainder of the period, opening an 81-65 bulge on Augustin's 3-pointer with 31.5 seconds left in the quarter.

Anthony came back on to start the fourth and scored the first six points to get the Knicks back within 10. He picked up a fifth on a questionable offensive foul call with 10 minutes left and appeared to wave off a substitution when Chandler checked in, so Martin ended up coming off instead.

But there was no final flurry, and Chandler eventually fouled out with four points and three rebounds.

Anthony wore a sleeve under his jersey to cover his sore left shoulder that was first hurt against the Pacers in April, then aggravated when Kevin Garnett pulled on his arm while setting a screen during the first-round series.

That may have contributed to his poor shooting but certainly the Pacers had plenty to do with it, as did having to bang inside with the bigger West.

The Knicks closed the first quarter with a 9-0 spurt, taking a 27-22 lead after 3-pointers by Smith and Felton to end the period. But the Pacers tightened up the defense in the second, holding the Knicks to two baskets in the final 5 minutes.

Indiana outscored New York 13-4 during that stretch, taking a 52-46 lead to halftime after George hit a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left.

Notes: Anthony averaged 29.1 points in the first round, equaling the second-highest ever by a Knicks player. Patrick Ewing had 31.6 per game in a 1990 series. ... Anthony received the one first-place vote that kept LeBron James from being the NBA's first unanimous selection as MVP. ... Indiana won both matchups in the conference semifinals, a 4-3 victory in 1995 and a 4-1 win in 1998. ... Indiana's Jeff Pendergraph was fined $5,000 by the NBA, the first player punished for violating the league's anti-flopping rules in the playoffs. ... Novak said he hurt his back while warming up at halftime of Game 5 against Boston but has been feeling better each day since.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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