Rapid Reaction: Knicks 110, Pacers 109
April, 10, 2011
By Chris Sheridan | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: Carmelo Anthony was the closer once again, sinking a go-ahead jumper with 4.9 seconds left to complete a game-ending 7-0 run. Not only that, but Anthony also blocked Danny Granger's 18-footer with 2 seconds left, and Mike Dunleavy's tip-in missed at the buzzer. So the winning streak is now at seven games, the Knicks' magic number (wins by them or losses by the 76ers) for clinching the No. 6 seed is down to one, and New York's potential playoff opponents have got to be thinking about the level Anthony is playing at now that he has found his comfort zone in New York. Anthony made six more 3-pointers (he attempted 13) and scored 34 points, and Chauncey Billups had 21 to help the Knicks overcome the absence of Amare Stoudemire, who watched from the bench with his sprained left ankle in a protective boot. He is still expected to play at least one of the two remaining regular season games. The Knicks (42-38) clinched a winning record.
TURNING POINT: The Knicks had a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter to negate a 35-20 scoring edge that Indiana had in the third quarter. The Pacers were held to 13 points in the fourth quarter and did not score a single point in the final 3 1/2 minutes. (Landry Fields had steals on the Pacers' next two possessions after their final bucket.)
DIFFERENCE MAKER: It was Anthony, who sat out a large portion of the fourth quarter with five fouls but then returned and immediately knocked down his fifth and sixth 3-pointers. Billups deserved some props for delivering the entry lob pass to Anthony for the game-winning shot as Granger was overplaying him on the perimeter.
HELL FREEZES OVER: Jared Jeffries hit a 3-pointer from the left corner late in the first quarter, ending his streak of consecutive missed 3s at seven (he converted his first attempt of the year while with Houston, and his most recent attempt for the Knicks hit the side of the backboard at Madison Square Garden last month). Jeffries' parents, Tom and Cecelia, attended the game (Jeffries was Mr. Basketball in Indiana in 2000 for Bloomington North).
STREAK ENDS: Billups had made 33 consecutive free throws before missing one in the second quarter. He missed another in the fourth quarter
WHAT'S NEXT: The final home game of the season is Tuesday night against the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls, and the season ends Wednesday night with a road game (8 p.m. EDT start) against the Boston Celtics.