NEW YORK —
Bigger, badder, and so far better.
Physical beat finesse Sunday, as the Indiana Pacers outworked and outmuscled the New York Knicks in a 102-95 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
David West scored 20 points and Paul George added 19 for the Pacers, who outrebounded the Knicks 44-30, showing the smaller team that in the rugged East, size does matter.
"I thought guys did a good job just putting them on their heels," West said. "We were attacking, we were aggressive."
D.J. Augustin had 16 points for the Pacers, who built a 16-point lead while Carmelo Anthony was on the bench in foul trouble in the third quarter, and easily held on to spoil the Knicks' first second-round game since 2000.
Anthony finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, but was frustrated by the Pacers' tough defense and by the referees. He shot 10 of 28 from the field and was perhaps thrown out of sync having to defend West, a natural power forward, inside.
"Right now they're just being really physical with him, they're trying to bang him, they're trying to frustrate him," Knicks point guard Raymond Felton said. "But we're going to be fine, he's going to be fine."
Game 2 is here Tuesday night, and then the series takes a lengthy break before Game 3 on Saturday in Indiana.
The Pacers, who allowed the second-fewest points per game and the lowest field goal percentage in the league during the regular season, mixed in solid offense as well. They outscored New York 59-38 across the middle two quarters and were comfortably ahead throughout the fourth.
"Just a strong defensive effort and then offensively guys played with great poise," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "Just a complete team effort, very proud of them."
Roy Hibbert scored 14 points in thoroughly outplaying counterpart Tyson Chandler, and George Hill also had 14 for the Pacers, adding seven rebounds and six assists.
Lance Stephenson added 11 points and 13 rebounds playing in his hometown.
J.R. Smith scored 17 points but was 4 of 15. Felton had 18 and Kenyon Martin added 12 for the Knicks, who hope to have reserves Amare Stoudemire (right knee surgery) and Steve Novak (back spasms) back for Game 3 and certainly looked as if they could use the help.
Both teams wrapped up their first-round series Friday night, the Knicks' victory in Game 6 in Boston giving them their first series victory in 13 years and sending them on to face a familiar postseason foe in Indiana, which ousted Atlanta.
The teams met three straight years from 1993-95, then again from 1998-00, splitting their six series, and this was the type of slugfest so many of those matchups were.
Indiana led 60-54 when Anthony committed his fourth foul and came out of the game with 7:48 remaining in the third quarter. The Pacers then outscored the Knicks 21-11 the remainder of the period, opening an 81-65 bulge on Augustin's 3-pointer with 31.5 seconds left in the quarter.
"They did all the little things," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We didn't start playing until we actually got down and it was desperation and we've got to play like that from the start."
Anthony came back on to start the fourth and scored the first six points to get the Knicks back within 10. He picked up a fifth on a questionable offensive foul call with 10 minutes left and appeared to wave off a substitution when Chandler checked in, though Woodson said Chandler was going in for Martin, who was the one who exited.
But there was no final flurry, and Chandler eventually fouled out with four points and three rebounds.
Anthony wore a sleeve under his jersey covering a strap to keep his sore left shoulder in place. It was first hurt against the Pacers in April, then aggravated when Kevin Garnett pulled on his arm while setting a screen during the first-round series.
That may have contributed to his poor shooting but certainly the Pacers had plenty to do with it, as did having to bang inside with the bigger West — though Anthony downplayed the toughness factor.
"The physicality of this game didn't do nothing to me, to us," he said.
"It's like Coach Woodson said and I agree with him, they beat us on the glass, they beat us to the loose basketballs out there, the hustle plays, and they outworked us. I don't think that had anything do with being more physical."
NEW YORK —
Bigger, badder, and so far better.
Demons in close district race
The Duncan baseball team is in a close race to finish in the top four in District 2-5A and earn a trip to regionals.
Duncan is 7-3 in district and in third place. First-place Carl Albert has lost just one district game. The Titans split with second-place Chickasha, which also split with Duncan.
Gayanich to play for Panhandle State
Velma-Alma senior Jaz Gayanich signed Wednesday to play basketball for Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell.
Gayanich said Panhandle coach Jerry Olsen was upfront about his program and ideas, compared to other coaches Gayanich visited. Gayanich already knows what role he’s expected to play.
Those who knew John Humphrey respected him
Duncan resident Rod Battles got to know John Humphrey pretty well.
Battles first played Duncan High School baseball for Humphrey in 1965. He later returned to DHS, when Humphrey hired him as an assistant, and later head baseball coach. After both men retired, they became fishing buddies. Humphrey joined Battles and others for annual trips to Lake Texhoma.
Comets stay calm under pressure
Lately, Velma-Alma baseball has made a habit of having some exciting finishes.
In its home tournament, the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament, last weekend, it won four of five games. All of those victories came by less than five runs and two of them were by only one run.
Course challenges Lady Demons
The Duncan girls golf team took sixth at the longest course it has played this year.
KickingBird Golf Course is 5,300 yards. Add the windy conditions at the tournament hosted by Edmond Santa Fe and it made for a challenging day.
Demon boys see Guthrie tennis action
Some younger Duncan boys tennis players got experience at a tournament hosted by Guthrie Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
The Demons had to adjust their lineup, though, after Cameron McCasland, who was to play No. 1 doubles with Alan Hruby, got sick. Sam Moffit was moved from No. 1 singles to take McCasland’s place
Demons take two from Del City
The Duncan baseball team swept a doubleheader at Del City Tuesday.
The Demons won the first game 13-0. Dylan Zawicki got his fourth win of the season. Duncan got two-run singles from Mason Hightower, Hunter Phillips and Collin Klingensmith. Scott Cooper and Zawicki each had one RBI.
Bronchos survive Fletcher
Coach Jeff Jones realized he made a mistake after Tuesday’s 8-7 win at home versus Fletcher.
He saw that his freshman pitcher, Dylan Jones, was struggling but he still hoped that the Bronchos could finish off the win with him on the mound. Jones had only given up one run in six full innings. Why shouldn’t the coach stick with him?
Girls tennis tops at Guthrie
The Duncan girls tennis team won a tournament hosted by Guthrie in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
The tournament was moved from Monday because of weather. It didn’t affect the Demons, as they reached the finals in all four divisions and won three.
Soccer teams do well despite losses to Antlers
Although the Duncan soccer teams didn’t score a goal against Deer Creek Tuesday at home, the coaches liked how the teams played against a tough opponent.
The boys particularly made it tough on the Antlers in a 2-0 loss. Duncan kept Deer Creek off balance had plenty of opportunities to scores, but couldn’t finish shots.
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