Hibbert, Pacers show best form in beating Knicks

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Indianapolis, IN, United States (4E Sports) – Roy Hibbert had 24 points, 12 rebounds and kept loose balls alive in his best playoff performance this year to lead Indiana Pacers to a 82-71 Game 3 victory over the New York Knicks at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Paul George added 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while causing consternation for Anthony and others on defense.

The Pacers also got 11 points and 12 rebounds from David West, and 17 points including five 3s from George Hill.

They now enjoy a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals after what coach Frank Vogel called their best playoff game ever.

Indiana limited the Knicks to 35.2 percent shooting, allowed just three 3-pointers and forced 15 turnovers. They finished with a 53-40 rebounding edge and a 20-10 edge in second-chance points.

It was enough to allow the Pacers to overcome a 28-for-80 shooting performance that included a season-high 33 3-point attempts.

New York had a chance midway through the third quarter when it closed the deficit to 44-41.

But Tyson Chandler lost his cool after being called for his third foul and was slapped with a technical that allowed the Pacers to score three points on the possession. West followed that with a 19-foot jumper and after Chandler went 1-of-2 from the free throw line, Indiana seized control with a 9-0 run that made it 58-44.

Stoudemire’s buzzer-beater to end the quarter got the Knicks within 62-51 and New York eventually got as close as 65-57 with 9:10 left. But Indiana answered with seven straight points and never let the Knicks challenge again.

Anthony scored 21 points, well below his playoff scoring average of 29.3. He went 6 of 16 from the field and managed only two points and no baskets in the fourth quarter.

J.R. Smith’s shooting woes continued, connecting 4 of 12 in producing nine points. Amare Stoudemire looked rusty in his return, making just 3-of-8 eight shots and finished with seven points and two rebounds.

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