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Knicks Valiant Effort Falls Short

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – Friday night, the Indiana Pacers came into Madison Square Garden looking to knock off the New York Knicks. In the mid 90’s, this used to be one of the fiercest rivalries in all of the NBA. Few would say that this match-up holds the same prestige, however there was no shortage of action.

The first half was very sloppy for both teams. Both Indiana and New York combined for 14 turnovers. It’s very possible that both teams were still a little rusty coming out of all star break. T.J. Warren (27 points) and Domantas Sabonis (24 points, 13 rebounds) were the only players in double figures at halftime.

Points seemed hard to come by, but the pace started to open up mid way through the second quarter. R.J. Barrett (17 points) paced the Knicks in scoring during the first half, and really looked aggressive out of the gate. Taj Gibson (8 points) was disruptive in the paint, as New York had their success scoring inside. The Pacers used some late scoring from Victor Oladipo (8 points) to take a 51-44 lead into halftime.

The second half Indiana started to impose its will on the Knicks. New York struggled to score for much of the third quarter, as the Pacers ballooned their lead to as many as 22 points. There have been times where the Knicks go through scoring droughts, that put them in too great a hole to come out of.

It seemed like for the rest of that 2nd half, New York played an uphill battle. Although, the Knicks did show some fire and desire behind the excellent play of Bobby Portis (19 points). Coach Mike Miller also talked about how Mitchell Robinson (8 points, 8 rebounds) provided a huge spark off the bench. His defensive energy and gratifying dunks gave his team new life in the second half. Robinson and Dennis Smith Jr. (6 assists) showed good chemistry playing together.

Frank Ntilikina (14 points) showed that when he makes himself an offensive threat, it gives this Knick team a new dimension. New York came back and make it as close as four points, but ultimately Indiana was able to secure a 106-98 win. Warren hit a late three point play that served as the back breaker for the Knicks.

New York has shown that they can compete with any team in the league. It is just that they have yet to show consistency in playing a full 48 minutes. This may be in part to lack of talent and experience, but this is the NBA and no one is going to make excuses for you.

New York’s next opponent will be the Houston Rockets (35-20) on Monday night. The Knicks (17-39) will look to snap a three game skid, and win on the road in Houston.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY)

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