Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks prediction: Who will win Game 3 in NBA playoffs?

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Pacers got better in some areas but worse in others in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series with the Knicks, and they still couldn't stop Jalen Brunson, so they find themselves down 2-0 after two matchups in Madison Square Garden.

So now the Pacers return home to Gainbridge Fieldhouse without room for another loss, less they face the dreaded 3-0 deficit from which no NBA team has ever fully recovered. Four teams have come back from 3-0 deficits to tie the series and force a Game 7, but none of those teams won the final game. Four NHL teams have pulled it off as have the 2004 Boston Red Sox. For obvious reasons the Pacers don't want to be in that position, so Friday's 7 p.m. Game 3 has the Pacers effectively playing with their season on the line.

Of course, the Pacers know they'll have a fired up home crowd for Game 3. They won all three games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in their series against the Bucks and they won their last five home games in the regular season after a March 18 loss to Cleveland. They also might find the Knicks even more shorthanded than they already were with forward O.G. Anunoby dealing with a hamstring injury. Forward Julius Randle, center Mitchell Robinson and wing Bojan Bogdanovic were already dealing with injuries that will keep them out for at least the entire series if not the rest of the season.

Here's the prediction for Game 3.

Dustin Dopirak, Pacers beat writer: The Pacers obviously look as wobbly after Game 2 as they have in a while. They started the series by losing consecutive games for the first time since March 1 and March 3 and coach Rick Carlisle's extended rant about officiating doesn't create the impression of a team brimming with confidence as it heads home.

But as noted many times before, the Pacers are generally good about putting bad performances behind them quickly. They haven't lost three games in a row since the Jan. 30-Feb. 2 stretch of defeats at the hands of the Celtics, Knicks and Kings, which all occurred when Tyrese Haliburton was making his second return to action following a hamstring strain and was on a minutes restriction.

Game 3 at home generally gives the lower-seeded team a feeling of renewal and the potential of Anunoby being out gives the Pacers an additional benefit. They've done well in games so far when it's seemed like their season was on the line, so it says here they'll respond well again and close the series gap to 2-1. Pacers 125, Knicks 118

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Pacers vs. Knicks game prediction for Game 3 of NBA playoff series