- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New York Knicks held on to a late lead to earn a win Wednesday against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks have won seven in a row and are 1-0 since Phil Jackson officially took over as president. Jackson addressed the team and coaching staff before the game and received a standing ovation from the crowd during the game.
The Knicks also gave the Madison Square Garden crowd plenty to cheer about. They led the Pacers (50-18) by 12 at halftime with a rousing defensive performance.
That lead was cut to one with 10 minutes to play in the fourth, but the Knicks got nine from Anthony and five from Amar'e Stoudemire to seal the win.
The Knicks stood firm on the defensive end, holding Paul George in check and holding Indiana to 42 percent shooting and 21 percent from beyond the arc.
New York is four games behind the eighth-place Hawks with 14 games to make up the deficit.
Stat's show: If he wanted to show the new Knicks president that he deserves a spot on next season’s team, Stoudemire got off to a good start on Wednesday night. The power forward poured in 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting to help lift New York.
Stoudemire hit 5-of-6 free throws and had four rebounds. Raymond Felton added 11 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Tyson Chandler had seven points and 14 rebounds (eight offensive). He helped limit Roy Hibbert to just three rebounds. Hibbert had 20 points.
Bye George: The Knicks neutralized George for most of the night. He had just 17 points on 4-for-17 shooting, including 2-of-9 from beyond the arc. Overall, Indiana missed 18-of-23 3-point attempts.
George had torched the Knicks in their playoff-series loss to the Pacers last spring, so Wednesday’s performance had to feel good for Mike Woodson and the coaching staff.
Playoff push: The Knicks are trying to become just the third team since 1984 to rebound to make the playoffs from a deficit of five or more games out of postseason with 25 or fewer games to play. The Knicks were six games out of eighth place with 21 games to go.
What’s next: The Knicks will take on the Sixers on Friday.
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14dKevin Pelton and Chad Ford