Pacers 106, Knicks 99

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers are headed back to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2004.
But it was a battle.
The Pacers beat the New York Knicks 106-99 to win the best-of-seven series 4-2.
They'll face the Miami Heat in Game 1 on Wednesday.
The Pacers did it with a balanced attack. Swingman Lance Stephenson scored 25 points for the Pacers. Paul George and Roy Hibbert added 23 and 21 points, respectively.
Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 39 points.
The Pacers trailed by as many as three points in the fourth quarter when Stephenson got a steal, layup and foul to break a 92-92 tie with less than four minutes left. The score was never tied again after that.
The Pacers had everything going their way in the third quarter. They led by as many as 12 points and the home crowd was behind them. All it took was one more big run to send the Knicks home for the summer.
That run didn't happen. That's because Anthony and Shumpert decided to put on a show.
Shumpert, taking advantage of having Tyler Hansbrough and David West defending him, made three straight 3-pointers and J.R Smith added a fourth to tie the score at 72-72.
The Knicks, who struggled from long distance all series, went on a stretch where they made seven straight 3's.
The Pacers were fortunate to head into the fourth quarter tied at 81-81 after Shumpert scored 16 points and Anthony added 15 points on a combined 10-of-13 shooting in the third quarter.
NOTES: Pacers point guard George Hill, who suffered a concussion in Game 4, was cleared to play Saturday afternoon after passing the NBA's mandatory concussion protocol. He missed Game 5 after failing the concussion test on Thursday. Hill participated in Saturday's shootaround and didn't have any setbacks. "He's a big part of what we do," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "He'll impact the game on both ends of the court." ... Vogel said "no comment" when asked if he thought the screen Tyson Chandler set on Hill in which he suffered the concussion was clean. ... Each Pacers player attempted 100 free throws after practice Friday after they were only 19-of-33 from the line in their Game 5 loss. ... Knicks guard Jason Kidd went into Game 6 having not scored in the series on just eight shot attempts.