Knicks 85, Pacers 75

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- It turns out the New York Knicks didn't need to employ a bigger lineup against the Indiana Pacers' massive frontcourt after all.
All the Knicks needed was some aggressive defense and a spark from their reserves to turn back the Pacers 85-75 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Thursday at a sold-out Madison Square Garden.
The Pacers, who never led Thursday, lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is in Indianapolis on Saturday.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 28 points, and subs J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland provided energy off the bench with 13 points each.
Paul George scored a team-high 23 points for Indiana, which shot just 36 percent from the floor.
After a one-game experiment starting 6-foot-11 Amar'e Stoudemire instead of 6-3 Pablo Prigioni produced a loss in Game 4, Knick coach Mike Woodson returned to his original lineup.
Stoudemire played just seven minutes, scoring two points, while Prigioni was a catalyst early in the game with his playmaking. Prigioni contributed three assists and a steal before getting into foul trouble. He finished with three points and the three assists in 19 minutes.
Game 5 was the most physical game of the series. The Knicks were whistled for 30 fouls, but Indiana converted just 19 of 33 free throws.
Indiana got as close as 75-71 with 6:44 left, but the Knicks closed it out with a 10-4 burst.
Roy Hibbert, Indiana's 7-foot-2 center who dominated the first four games of the series with his shot-blocking and rebounding prowess, was in foul trouble Thursday. He came out with four fouls and Indiana trailing 49-44 with seven minutes left in the third.
With Hibbert on the bench, the Knicks went on a 10-4 run to increase their lead to 59-48 with 4:22 to go in the third, their largest margin of the game.
Hibbert finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
The New York bench played a major role in the Knicks' 40-34 halftime lead. The reserves combined for 18 points, with Smith leading the way with nine points.
Indiana, which never led in the half and trailed by as many as nine, scored its fewest first-half points of the series. David West paced Indiana with 11 points and six rebounds before the break. He finished with 17 points and 10 boards.
New York led 19-15 after the first quarter as neither team shot the ball well. The Knicks were 9 of 26 and the Pacers made just six of their 23 field-goal attempts.
Anthony, who converted seven of his 15 first-half shots, scored seven of the Knicks' first 11 points of the game on his mid-range jumper.
NOTES: Pacers G George Hill was out for Game 5 with a concussion he suffered in Game 4 when he collided with Tyson Chandler. He was replaced in the starting lineup by D.J. Augustin, who scored 12 points. Hill is averaging 16 points, four rebounds and four assists in the playoffs. ... The Pacers have out-rebounded the Knicks, 264-183, in the series (44.2 per game to 28.6), and Indiana leads all playoff teams in rebound percentage. ... Knicks reserve G Jason Kidd is 0-for-17 from the field in his last nine playoff games, dating back to the first round against Boston. He missed his lone shot Thursday. ... Hibbert is third in the playoffs in blocked shots, averaging 2.3 per game. He had two blocks in Game 5.

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