Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Are Unable to Keep Pace

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Are Unable to Keep Pace

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the Knicks left the court at the end of the third quarter, they were swaggering, pumped up and celebrating.

With an undermanned and undersized roster, they had built a 17- point lead and were comfortably in control.

And then reality set in. A crushing, devastating reality.

It took less than six minutes for the entire lead to disappear and suddenly a loud celebration erupted at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. When the fourth quarter wound down, the swagger was gone, replaced by the enduring image of frustrated J.R. Smith being escorted off the court by security.

The Knicks were steamrolled in the final quarter, losing the lead and the game, a heartbreaking 112-104 defeat to the Pacers. With the season dwindling down to a precious few games and the Knicks clinging to a 1 1/2-game lead for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, this seems like the sort of loss that will be recounted over and over if they fail. And the frustration was visible, Smith tossing Leandro Barbosa to the floor in the final seconds for a flagrant 2 and an ejection.

For much of the night the Knicks relied on the only real weapon they possess these days -- Carmelo Anthony. He scored 13 of the Knicks' 28 points in the third quarter and had 27 entering the final 12 minutes. And then he, like the rest of his teammates, had nothing left. Anthony finished with a season-high 39 points on 17-of-31 shooting.

Anthony tried in vain to rally the Knicks late after they fell behind, 101-93. He converted a three-point play on a shot in the lane and then drilled fa three-pointer and suddenly the Knicks had life. He then hit another jumper between two pair of free throws by the Pacers and after Tyson Chandler made one of two from the line, the Knicks were down, 105-102.

Landry Fields swiped an errant pass and the Knicks put the ball in Anthony's hands again. …

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