Doctors also told Woodson to limit Amare Stoudemire to 21 minutes as he tries to work his way back from October knee surgery. Stoudemire wound up playing 21:31 and scoring nine points, and the Knicks lost starting forward Marcus Camby for all but 2½ minutes of the second half after the longtime veteran re-injured his left foot.
Without those three, the Knicks were led by J.R. Smith, who had 25 points and almost single-handedly rallied the Knicks in the second half. Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 15 rebounds, and nobody else scored more than eight.
"We are short-handed, we've got two starters on the bench," Woodson said, telling reporters that Camby's injury would be evaluated after the team returned home. "But the effort was great. We need to keep this up."
After New York fell behind 49-38 early in the third quarter, Smith led the Knicks on a 13-3 run that cut the deficit to 52-51. He closed the quarter by scoring four more to give New York a 60-58. Chandler opened the fourth with a driving dunk to give New York a 62-58 lead.
That's when George took over.
He drove in for a layup, then stole the ball and drove in for a dunk to tie the score at 62. After Gerald Green's 3-pointer broke the tie and Mahinmi hit a 20-foot jumper, George came up with another steal and layup and Mahinmi finished the run with a dunk. Suddenly, Indiana led 71-62 with 4:57 to play and New York never seriously challenged again.
"It's good that we got those wins," George said. "They are great quality wins against two great teams in the East right now. Everybody takes great pride in guarding their guys. Nobody wants to get scored on, on this team."
NOTES: Former Pacers star and new Hall of Famer Reggie Miller was honored with a special video during the first quarter. Fans gave him a standing ovation and chanted "Reg-gie! Reg-gie!" as the TNT broadcaster attempted to focus on his work. ... Colts coach Chuck Pagano was given a standing ovation when he was introduced during the second quarter. ... The Knicks had won four of the previous five meetings in this series. ... Indiana shot 39.2 percent from the field and has now six games when shooting less than 40 percent.