Knicks, Grizzlies win to square series
NEW YORK (AP):
New York's Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points - 16 during a 30-2 onslaught in the second half - to lead the Knicks to a 105-79 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night, squaring their NBA Eastern Conference semisfinal series at 1-1.
In the day's other game, Memphis used a late run to beat Oklahoma City and also level their Western Conference series at a game apiece.
New York blew away the Pacers with a performance that resembled their hot early-season form.
"For the most part, from the start of the game and throughout the whole game, we played with a sense of urgency today," Anthony said. "We played the way we've been playing as far as competing at the highest level."
Iman Shumpert added 15 points, including a sensational follow dunk in the first half, and Raymond Felton scored 14 as the Knicks turned a close game into a blowout over the final 15 minutes.
Paul George scored 20 points for the Pacers, who had a two-point lead and momentum when coach Frank Vogel called timeout with a little more than three minutes left in the third quarter.
By the time the Pacers got on the board in the final period, the Knicks had opened a 26-point advantage.
"The fourth quarter, we just (improved) defensively, we picked up," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "We kept getting stop after stop and then we would rebound the ball and get it up and our offence began to flow like old times. It was kind of nice to see."
Game Three is Saturday at Indianapolis.
It was the first time the Knicks scored 100 points in a playoff game since June 9, 1999, when they beat the Pacers 101-94. It was New York's largest margin of victory in the post-season since a 109-75 rout of Detroit on April 24, 1992, according to information provided by ESPN Stats and Info to the Knicks.
David West scored 13 points for the Pacers, who committed 21 turnovers that led to 32 points, negating their height advantage that loomed so large in their Game One victory.
Memphis' Mike Conley scored 26 points and Marc Gasol added 24 as the Grizzlies finished strongly to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 99-93.
Conley hit a three-pointer from the left wing with 1:58 left to put the Grizzlies ahead to stay and spark a string of 10 straight points for the Grizzlies.
He added an 18-foot jumper to stretch the lead to 94-90, then hit one of two free throws with 29.4 seconds left.
"Mike Conley is now one of the top five point guards in the league, whether anybody likes it or not," said Tony Allen, who had two of his five steals in the final minute.
"I know a lot of people have got their favourites on who they think it should be, but Mike Conley is in that conversation now."
Game three is Saturday in Memphis.