Knicks bounce back from 1st loss, beat Pacers
NEW YORK (AP) — This was ugly, even before Jason Kidd's unfortunate headband style.
That's fine with the New York Knicks, who are winning even when they don't look good doing it.
Carmelo Anthony had 26 points and nine rebounds, and the Knicks bounced back from their first loss of the season, beating the Indiana Pacers 88-76 on Sunday.
"Last year we let this game slip away," center Tyson Chandler said. "It's definitely the maturity of the team and obviously the maturity of the players. We got a lot of vets around here that understand that these games add up. These are the games at the end of the year when you are in that dog fight and jockeying for position, these are the games that put you over or under."
JR Smith added 13 points and Raymond Felton had 11 for the Knicks in their only home game in a span of seven games. After falling 105-95 at Memphis on Friday, the Knicks (7-1) go right back on the road to start another three-game trip Tuesday in New Orleans.
Neither team shot 40 percent, but the Knicks, perhaps sluggish after a quick turnaround following Saturday morning's return home, built a big early lead, went up by as much as 20 and were never challenged.
"Today was one of them days where we had to do it on the defensive end," Anthony said. "Offensively we were trying to find it, shots that we missed that we normally make. But on the defensive end for us to be in sync the way we are right now, especially this early in the season, that's a good thing. We want to keep building on that."
The only thing they want to change is Kidd's wardrobe, after watching a cut on his head force him into the headband that had its own Twitter account by the end of the game.
"Not a good look," Anthony said. "Today he had to do what he had to do, but we're not going to allow that."
Paul George scored 20 points for the Pacers, who remained inept offensively as they played without leading scorer Danny Granger. They hoped they had broken out with an impressive 103-point performance against Dallas on Friday, but managed only 30 first-half points and committed 19 turnovers in the game.
"We turned the ball over way too much," George said. "When you look at it, we got 71 attempts and they got 90 attempts and when you are playing a team as dangerous as New York is, you give them 20 more shots, of course you are going to get the results you got."
David West added 14 points in Indiana's sixth straight road loss.
The Pacers came in allowing an NBA-low 90.3 points per game but often wasting that without Granger, who is expected to miss three months with a sore left knee. They were averaging 87.8 points, 28th in the league, but were nowhere near that against a Knicks team that's also good defensively.
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