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.
Demon baseball to face best in Class 5A
The Duncan baseball team will see the best Class 5A has to offer at the McAlester Shootout Thursday through Saturday.
Demon coach Tim Hightower described the event as a “pre-state tournament” because many of the teams attending are state tournament contenders.
Soccer teams finish season at home
The Duncan soccer teams won’t go to the postseason, but they have plenty to play for Friday night against Western Heights.
It’s the last home games for the Demons and it’s Senior Night. The girls will look to finish near .500 for the season, while the boys want a good showing against a tough opponent.
Chamber Golf Classic proves to be popular event
When word got out that entries would be accepted for the Duncan Chamber Golf Classic, set for Friday at the Duncan Golf and Tennis Club, it didn’t take long for people to respond.
As club general manager Mike Hansen put it: “They sent out an e-mail and filled it up in a day.”
Thunder look to bounce back
During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper.
Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja Bell, Shane Battier, Ron Artest and Bruce Bowen all had the tag attached to their name, despite Bryant putting up big numbers against them.
Demons hoping for top-four finish
The Duncan baseball team will need to take care of business next week in its final District 2-5A games.
The Demons are 7-5 in district (16-9 overall) after dropping both games of a doubleheader at Carl Albert Monday, 8-1 and 4-1. The Titans (13-1, 26-4) won the district title.
Girls soccer gets it done at Altus
The Duncan girls soccer team battled in a tough environment at Altus to win 1-0 Tuesday.
Lady Demon coach Delydia Gay said it was frustrating at times for the girls because of some questionable calls the officials made. But she was happy the girls pulled together to win.
Meshell shines as Outlaws beat Warriors
The Marlow baseball team got help from Beau Meshell on the mound and at the plate in a 7-4 home victory against Anadarko Tuesday.
Meshell held Anadarko to one earned run off three hits and did not walk a batter. He reached base three times, had one run batted in and scored one run.
Girls golfers take fourth at Deer Creek
The Duncan girls golfers took fourth at a tournament hosted by Deer Creek High School at Coffee Creek Golf Course in Edmond Tuesday.
Lady Demon coach Steve Etheridge said that the girls played as well as they have all year. Although the golfers struggled putting on some fast greens, Etheridge was happy with their overall performance.
Empire softball tries to spark offense
The Lady Bulldogs are trying to find a way to spice up their offense in preparation for the Class 3A slowpitch softball playoffs.
Empire has played a tough schedule, with four of the first seven games coming against ranked opponents. However, coach Tony Roberts thinks the team just needs to have some more timely hitting to get on the winning track.
Outlaws shut out Indians
Marlow baseball snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-0 win at home against Comanche Monday.
“We needed to get this win and we got it,” said Marlow coach Jeff Brewer.
- More Sports Headlines
- Demon baseball to face best in Class 5A