The Knicks ended their six-game home stand going 3-3 as Indiana took advantage of New York’s lack of size playing without a true center.
The New York Knicks (33-20) were defeated a second time in a row tonight by the sixth-seed Indiana Pacers (30-24) while still being outnumbered in terms of their regular starters and centers. The final score was 125-111.
In the first half, Miles Turner opened up the quarter with a three-point shot against the Knicks. In turn, Donte DiVincenzo capitalized on self-created space in the paint and got the Knicks’ first basket. After each team’s first bucket, they failed to convert their shots until the eight-minute mark. With eight minutes and a half remaining, the Knicks forced a turnover from the Pacers. It was at this time when both big men, Achiuwa and Siakam, finally secured points to fall through for both of their respective teams. Brunson then added to the Knicks’ points by swooping into the key with a left-handed feed into the basket.
With over four minutes remaining, DiVincenzo continued his hot shooting streak with back-to-back corner threes. Nonetheless, the Pacers maintained amazing rhythm and ball movement. They were unselfish with the ball, passing to the open man for a basket. On the other hand, the Knicks continued to play intelligently and forced three turnovers on the Pacers while the Pacers failed to do the same for the Knicks. With three and a half minutes remaining, Achiuwa gave the Knicks their first lead of the game with an emphatic slam dunk.
At the two-minute mark, Bojan Bogdanović and Alec Burks check into the game and make their first appearance as a Knick in the 2023-24 regular season. Bogdanović then grabbed his first points as a Knick by completing two free throws at the line. With less than a minute remaining, the Knicks kept their composure through quick isolations and great spacing. They also posed great interior defense.
Turner was an absolute catalyst for the Pacers in the first quarter, posting nine points, three assists, and three rebounds. As well as Siakam who possessed a great deal of dexterity, placing eight points on the board. Whereas Knicks’ Brunson brought down 10 points, DiVincenzo with eight points, and Achiuwa with seven points in the first. Despite the Pacers towering their FG% (70.6%) over the Knicks’ (42.9%), the Knicks led by one point over the Pacers by the end of the first quarter (27-26).
In the second quarter, the Knicks grabbed their first point here by DiVincenzo, who made a driving floating jump shot that was goal-tended by Isaiah Jackson. After this, T.J. McConnell answered back with a defensive put-back point for the Pacers. In addition, the Knicks maintained themselves as turnover machines, the Pacers picking up seven turnovers by the end of the first half. With less than nine minutes remaining, Burks received his first points back as a Knick from beyond the arc.
Halfway into the second quarter, Tyrese Haliburton knocked down an impressive three that was guarded heavily while time was running out on the clock, putting six points of his own in this quarter. Bogdanović also started to heat up in this quarter from three, accumulating 11 points and two threes overall by the end of the first half as well as Turner, who showed out on the score sheet tonight, adding seven points to his name in the second quarter. With three minutes remaining, Achiuwa reached double figures once again through confident strides into the paint (13 points). His teammate, Brunson, was also proving to be quite the shifty player as usual tonight, adding seven more points by the end of the first half. Not to mention, Pacers’ Nesmith managed to place nine points on the board before halftime, shooting 3-4 from three.
By the end of the first half, four Knicks players led with double-digit points: Brunson, Achiuwa, DiVincenzo, and Bogdanović. Whereas only two Pacers led with double-digits: Turner and Siakam. The Pacers led 61-58 over the Knicks once the first half ended.
In the second half, Brunson opened up the third quarter with a stellar cross-over two-point shot. Turner responded with his second three from downtown. With eight minutes remaining, Siakam was dialed in and brought down two consecutive corner threes. The Pacers then picked up their biggest lead of the night so far (72-64). However, Brunson was not backing down without a fight and cut the Pacers lead to just six a minute later. DiVincenzo helped cut the Pacers’ lead even more. Unfortunately, while some players were excelling, others such as Taj Gibson had a quiet night so far, only shooting 0-4 from the field and three rebounds so far.
With five and a half minutes remaining, Hart hustled for the ball and went from coast to coast to secure the bucket, the Knicks now only trailing by four. Brunson also continued to light up on the floor, taking the ball inside no matter how many guards were on him. He was an absolute driving-machine, wracking up 12 points in the third. With less than a minute remaining, McBride checked in and instantly produced offensive boards, retaliating with back-to-back buckets for the Knicks.
Despite the Knicks’ efforts to take back the lead, Haliburton secured a long three (a 30-foot step-back jump-shot) over Burks at the sound of the buzzer, bringing the Pacers’ lead to 91-82 over the Knicks. Haliburton contributed six points and four assists in the third. And Siakam with seven points.
With a minute passing into the final quarter, the Pacers had already secured a 12-point advantage over the Knicks. While the Pacers’ offense kept dishing out points, the Knicks were in complete disarray. The Pacers were leading by as many as 17 points with eight and a half minutes remaining in the game. Thus, Coach Thibodeau had to call for a timeout in an attempt to try to get the Knicks back on track. Burks was able to capitalize after regrouping and sunk three consecutive threes near the end of the quarter, tallying up 15 points to his name here.
Despite Brunson playing outstanding throughout the whole game (10 points in the fourth), the Knicks stayed a step slower than the Pacers and were unable to turn this game around. The Pacers out-beat the Knicks tonight by 14 points in the final score (125-111).
Overall, five Knicks players led with double figures. Brunson showed no rust after missing a game with 39 points, four assists, and three rebounds. Burks’ reintroduction with 22 points and four three-pointers. Achiuwa with 15 points and six rebounds. DiVincenzo with 14 points, four assists, and three rebounds. And Bogdanović with 11 points and two three-pointers.
The Pacers dominated a win tonight, with six of their players with double-digits. Turner led with 23 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Haliburton with 22 points and a whopping 12 assist game. Siakam with 19 points and six rebounds. McConnell with 16 points, six assists, and four rebounds. Nesmith with 13 points and three three-pointers. And Jackson with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Next up, the New York Knicks will go on the road to face the Houston Rockets on Monday at 8:00 p.m.