New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Carmelo Anthony tallied 26 points and nine rebounds as the New York Knicks returned to their winning ways with an 88-76 triumph over the road-weary Indiana Pacers Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony had a so-so shooting night, making just nine of 22 attempts, JR Smith came off the bench and scored 13 points while playmaker Raymond Felton added 11 markers and eight assists for the Knicks (7-1), who bounced back after tasting their first loss of the season to Memphis.
“Tonight we did what we had to do to win the game,” Anthony told the MSG Network after the game.
Veteran Rasheed Wallace and Steve Novak had nine points apiece while Ronnie Brewer had eight for New York, which got the win despite shooting 36.7 percent from the field, capitalizing on the Pacers’ 19 turnovers which they turned into 18 points.
“Guys are buying in and they understand that if you do that play defense at a high level, you put yourself in position to win games,” said Knicks coach Mike Woodson.
Jason Kidd was limited to 23 minutes after he bumped heads with Lance Stephenson while attempting a three-pointer in the first period, cutting the right side of his head.
Kidd used a headband to minimize the bleeding and made all three free throws before going to the locker room to receive seven stitches. He returned to the court with 8:08 left in the second quarter.
Paul George scored 20 points on 6-for-15 shooting and David West added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers (4-7), who suffered their sixth straight road loss.
The Pacers played without leading scorer Danny Granger, who will be sidelined three months with a sore left knee. He averaged 18.7 points per game last season.
Anthony scored 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting to give the Knicks a 21-18 cushion in the first quarter, where the Pacers shot just 7-for-22.
It was Felton’s turn to shine in the second period, scoring seven points as the Knicks extended their lead to 41-30 at the break.