National Basketball Association
NEW YORK -- Playing tight defense is not something the New York Knicks are known for this season.
When teams come into Madison Square Garden, they can usually figure scoring at least 100 points and coming away with a double-digit win. That wasn't the case on Tuesday night when the Knicks turned in one of their more sparkling defensive efforts of the season in an 87-81 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
The Knicks (27-41) held the Pacers (34-33) to 36.8 percent (23 of 87) from the floor. Indiana converted only 9 of 41 second-half shots as New York stormed back from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter. Opponents normally average shooting 45 percent from the floor.
The 81 points was the second lowest total allowed this season by the Knicks, whose opponents average 108 points per game.
The Knicks limited the Pacers to 26.1 percent shooting from the floor and 3 of 15 behind the arc in an impressive second-half defensive effort.
"We had a will on the defensive end to not let them (Pacers) score," Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said.
Anthony led the Knicks with 22 points and 13 rebounds. He scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to help New York snap a three-game losing streak.
Anthony topped 24,000 career points and now has 24,014. He's 25th on the NBA scoring list.
Derrick Rose added 16 points.
Paul George topped Indiana with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Knicks center Willy Hernangomez posted his seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds coming off the bench.
New York forced 16 turnovers. Pacers guard Jeff Teague committed six of them.
"We wanted them (Knicks) to get within arm's length of the guy with the ball," Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said of the defensive strategy. "They were helping each other. There was one time we're we had two or three guys diving for a loose ball. That's a credit to these players that you're probably not in the playoffs to still play like that."
A jumper and a 3-pointer from Anthony pushed the Knicks lead to 79-72 with 3:04 to play.
New York took its first lead of the night at 68-65 since midway through the first quarter when Anthony drained a 3-pointer with 9:43 to play.
"The effort is something we can build on," Knicks guard Courtney Lee said. "That's the effort we have to play with every night."
The Knicks drew with 64-62 after the third quarter, holding the Pacers to 12 points in the quarter, tied for the lowest New York has allowed this season in one quarter.
"When you don't play the game the right way you show up looking like that," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. "Stop moving the ball, stop playing together, stop screening. There's no excuse for that lack of execution in the second half.
"We just totally went way from what we've done which is play hard, together defense and move the ball."
A 3-pointer from C.J. Miles, with an assist from George, with 34 seconds left in the half gave Indiana its biggest lead to that point at 52-40. George scored seven points in the second quarter.
The Knicks shot just 37 percent from the field in the first half. Kristaps Porzingis, who has moved to center in the absence of injured Joakim Noah, made just 4 of 13 shots from the field.
Anthony, who was shadowed by George, was able to take just seven shots, making only one.
The Pacers dominated the boards in the first quarter, outrebounding the Knicks 20-11 for a 24-18 lead.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before tip-off for John Andariese, a Knicks radio and TV analyst for more than 34 years who died Monday. ... Since the All-Star break, the Pacers have held eight of their 10 opponents to 100 or fewer points. ... Indiana has limited its opponents to 100.4 points per game (seventh in the NBA) on 43.6 percent shooting (fourth) and 31.7 percent from 3-point range (third) since the break. ... Pacers F Thaddeus Young is 20th in the NBA in field goal percentage, including a career-best 39.6 percent from beyond the arc. ... Pacers C Myles Turner has blocked at least four shots in 13 games and is third in the league in that category. He blocked three shots on Tuesday. ... Knicks C Kristaps Porzingis left the game in the fourth quarter with a contused left thigh.
Top Game Performances
Paul George 22
Carmelo Anthony 22
Jeff Teague 6
Willy Hernangomez 4
Myles Turner 11
Willy Hernangomez 16
Rodney Stuckey 3
||Free Throws Made
Carmelo Anthony 3
Monta Ellis 3
Willy Hernangomez 3
Myles Turner 3
Kristaps Porzingis 3
Team Stats Summary
New York will play their next game at home against Brooklyn. The Knicks have a W/L % of .296 after a win and .463 after a loss.
Indiana will play their next game at home against Charlotte. The Pacers have a W/L % of .441 after a win and .576 after a loss.