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Instant Rewind: Pacers 116, Knicks 103 (Game 6)

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Friday, May 17 at 8:30 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Instant Rewind

With the Pacers facing an elimination game for the first time this postseason, Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said he expected the team’s “level of urgency” to be “at a fever pitch” in Game 6 on Friday night against the New York Knicks. All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton said the Blue & Gold needed to have “a level of desperation that we’ve never had before.”

The Pacers lived up to those expectations on Friday, flying all over the floor from the opening tip and willing their way to a 116-103 victory in Game 6 to force a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden for a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.

After laying an egg in a 30-point loss in Game 5 on Tuesday night, the Pacers responded with an all-out effort that had the sellout crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on its feet and roaring early, often, and late into the night.

The Pacers outscored New York 62-38 in points in the paint and outrebounded the Knicks 47-35. It was an impressive reversal from Tuesday, when the Knicks outscored Indiana by 26 points in the paint and outrebounded the Pacers by 24.

Veteran forward Pascal Siakam led the way offensively, scoring 25 points on 11-of-21 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals.

Five other Pacers finished in double figures, including Myles Turner (17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds, and two blocks), Haliburton (15 points, six rebounds, nine assists, and two blocks), and Andrew Nembhard (15 points, six boards, and six assists).

Nembhard scored six quick points and Turner threw down a thunderous jam in traffic to propel Indiana to an early 13-9 lead.

But Miles McBride provided an unlikely spark for the Knicks offense early, knocking down three 3-pointers and scoring 11 of New York’s first 17 points. Donte DiVincenzo then got hot, scoring the next eight Knicks points to put the visitors in front, 25-20.

The Blue & Gold clawed back over the closing minutes of the first quarter, ending the frame with a 10-4 run to trim the Knicks’ lead back to one.

The first half of second quarter was highly competitive, featuring five ties and seven lead changes. But the final six minutes of the frame was all Pacers.

Indiana outscored New York 17-5 overall the the last six minutes of the half. Turner scored nine points over that stretch, including a monster cutting dunk off a dish from Pascal Siakam that brought the house down.

The Knicks did get a little momentum at the end of the half, as DiVincenzo buried a three from the right corner in the closing seconds and then Nembhard was whistled for a technical foul after the halftime buzzer.

Knicks guard Jalen Brunson shot the technical free throw at the start of the third quarter. He made it, then scored a layup on the Knicks’ first possession. After Siakam missed a jumper, McBride scored to suddenly make it a five-point game just 38 seconds into the second half.

After a timeout from Carlisle, the Blue & Gold responded, with Nembhard and Haliburton knocking down back-to-back threes to push the margin back to double digits.

The Blue & Gold continued to grow the lead from there, with Turner coming up with another big dunk — this one a put-back slam after Aaron Nesmith missed a three — that pushed the lead to 13. A short while later, two straight jumpers from Haliburton and a three-point play from T.J. McConnell made it 84-66.

Indiana took an 88-75 lead into the fourth quarter. Nembhard’s 3-pointer made it a 20-point game with 8:24 remaining and the Blue & Gold never looked back. Obi Toppin provided the icing on the cake, driving to the basket and throwing down a left-handed dunk on Isaiah Hartenstein.

McConnell and Toppin once again were very impressive off the bench on Friday. McConnell tallied 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting and four assists in 16 minutes, while Toppin scored 11 in 18 minutes on 5-of-6 shooting.

Brunson scored 26 of his game-high 31 points after halftime to lead New York in the loss. McBride added 20 points, going 8-for-12 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range, while DiVincenzo scored 17.

There will be a quick turnaround for Game 7, as the Pacers and Knicks will meet at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 PM. The winner will advance to face the top-seeded Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, which will begin on Tuesday night in Boston.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers shot 53.8 percent from the field while holding New York to 43.9 percent shooting.

Siakam surpassed 20 points for the third time this series and the fifth time this postseason.

The Blue & Gold had 35 assists in Game 6, their second-highest assist total in a playoff game in franchise history. It would have been a new record if not for the 38 assists Indiana dished out in a 125-108 win in Milwaukee in Game 2 of their first-round series last month.

After being outrebounded 20-5 on the offensive glass in Game 5, the Pacers had 14 offensive rebounds to New York’s 13 on Friday. The Knicks led the NBA in offensive rebounding this season, but the Pacers have pulled down more offensive boards in four out of six games this series.

Brunson was 2-for-13 from the field in the first half, but 9-for-13 in the second half to record his third 30-point game of the series.

Stat of the Night

After Friday’s victory, the Pacers are a perfect 6-0 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse this postseason and have won 11 straight home games including the regular season. Indiana’s last home loss was on March 18.

Noteworthy

  • Knicks forward Josh Hart was treated during the game for abdominal soreness and was ultimately ruled out in the fourth quarter after tallying five points, eight rebounds, and three assists in 31 minutes.
  • Former Pacers forward Antonio Davis “revved up” the crowd before Game 6. Former Pacers center Dale Davis and former Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne were also in attendance.
  • Sunday will be the first time the Pacers play a Game 7 since 2018. Indiana is 3-6 all-time in Game 7s and 1-1 against the Knicks in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. New York won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 1994, but the Pacers prevailed in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 1995.

Up Next

The Pacers and Knicks will play Game 7 on Sunday, May 19 at 3:30 PM ET at Madison Square Garden. The game will air nationally on ABC.

Tickets

To register for presale access for future playoff rounds or to guarantee playoff seats by placing a deposit on a 2024-25 season ticket package, please vist Pacers.com/Playoffs

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