Pacers rout Knicks, pull closer to second in East

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2013 at 10:20 pm •  Published: February 20, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers looked ready for the playoffs. The New York Knicks looked like they wanted a longer All-Star break.

Paul George scored 27 points and the Pacers powered their way closer to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the Knicks 125-91 on Wednesday night.

"We were focused, since day one coming back," George said. "I think we really showed it tonight."

David West had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Lance Stephenson added 14 points for Indiana (33-21), which pulled within a half-game of the Knicks for second place in the East.

The Pacers shot 53 percent from the field, scored a season-high point total and had a season-best 28 assists against the Atlantic Division leaders. It was Indiana's largest margin of victory this season and New York's worst loss.

"We didn't show up," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "They whipped our (expletive) from beginning to end. It was nothing pretty about tonight's game. It's unacceptable. I mean, we didn't compete. That's on all of us."

Tyson Chandler led New York (32-19) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony, the league's No. 2 scorer, finished with 15 points on 7-for-21 shooting.

George, fresh off a strong performance in his first All-Star Game appearance, made 11 of 19 shots, grabbed eight rebounds and played solid defense against Anthony.

Because of the blowout, Pacers coach Frank Vogel tried to downplay it afterward.

"We have to understand it's just one win," Vogel said. "The Knicks didn't have it tonight. Every team in the league has nights like this."

The Knicks didn't just play poorly, they lost their cool. New York was called for three individual technical fouls and a flagrant foul, and J.R. Smith was ejected.

Anthony appeared to be trying to send George a message early in the game, using his strength to overpower the more slender George near the basket. But George remained calm, played his game and made it his night.

Chandler, the only Knicks starter who played well, was frustrated the entire game as the Pacers hammered him with the physical style that has helped them lead the league in scoring defense.

"I think we got under their skin a little bit, but we can only control what's in this locker room and I think we came out with an edge tonight," George said.

Indiana held the Knicks to 34 percent shooting, and New York was shooting just under 30 percent after three quarters.

"We man up and hold each other accountable each possession, and then when things do go wrong, your teammate has your back," Indiana point guard George Hill said. "We have a special team and a special group where 1 through 5, no matter if it's our starters or our bench, everybody can guard their man. You have to tip your hat to having such great defensive players on this team."

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