The Pacers took the first bite out of the Big Apple. Now they're hungry for more.
Led by David West's 20 points and Paul George's 19, the Pacers use a balanced attack to pound New York Sunday in game one of the NBA's Eastern Conference Semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
Six Pacers scored in double figures as Indiana use its size and physical style to out-muscle the Knicks. Indiana's size was clearly a problem for New York.
"We want to play big and we obviously have the personnel to do it," George said. "To us, it is to play physical and clean. We want to make sure we have a presence down there. We have to make sure they were shooting over us and contesting shots."
"We are a grind-it-out, physical team. We try to wear people down," added Roy Hibbert. "I do not expect there to be any blowouts at all."
Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points but missed 18 of his 28 shots for the Knicks. NBA Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith scored 17 points, but hit just 4 of 15 from the field.
"You take the X's and O's out of the game, they flat out played harder than we did today," said Anthony. "That was the key to their victory."
New York City native Lance Stephenson had 11 points and the career-high 13 rebounds for the Pacers. "Lance, the past three games, has been one of our best players," said George. "When he is playing at that level we are tough team."
Reserve guard D.J. Augustin scored 16 points, hitting four of his five three-point shots. "He was the X factor tonight," said Hibbert. "He is what we have been missing and he is peaking at the right time."
The game swung in a dominant third-quarter, where the Pacers turned a six point halftime lead into a 16 point lead heading into the final quarter.
The blue and gold out rebound New York 44 to 30. Points in the paint belonged to the Pacers as well, as they outscored the Knicks 46 to 32.
Game two is Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. and then the series takes a lengthy break before Game 3 on Saturday in Indiana.