T.J. Warren scored 27 points as the visiting Indiana Pacers overcame a sluggish start and shaky finish to record a 106-98 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
The Pacers beat the Knicks for the eighth time in the past nine meetings by outscoring New York 65-45 in the second and third quarters. Indiana shot 53 percent (25 of 48) in those quarters after being held to 15 points in the game’s first 12 minutes. Indiana then survived going the final 5:12 without a basket and withstood missing 15 of 20 shots in the fourth.
Domantas Sabonis posted his 42nd double-double (24 points, 13 rebounds) for the Pacers, who shot 41 percent overall and won their second straight game following a season-high six-game losing streak. Reserve Doug McDermott added 14 points, Malcolm Brogdon contributed 11. Victor Oladipo finished with eight points in little more than 25 minutes before exiting with back soreness.
Bobby Portis scored 19 points to lead the Knicks, who lost their third straight game and could not rally from a 22-point deficit. Rookie RJ Barrett added 17 points and Frank Ntilikina contributed 14 but leading scorer Julius Randle was held to nine points as New York shot 43 percent.
Warren shot 10 of 21 overall and scored 18 of his points in the second and third quarters. He had 11 points in the third when the Pacers surged ahead for good after taking a 51-44 halftime lead. Warren gave the Pacers a 63-46 lead with 8:20 remaining by easily converting a layup after stripping the ball from Reggie Bullock near the 3-point line.
Indiana took a 74-52 lead on Oladipo’s free throw with 3:45 remaining and carried an 80-65 lead into the fourth. The Pacers then withstood a comeback attempt by New York, which was within 97-91 on a free throw by Barrett with 1:53 left and 98-94 on a 3-pointer by Damyean Dotson with 23.6 seconds left.
The Pacers finished it off by hitting eight free throws in the final 21 seconds and survived missing their final six shots.
–Field Level Media