Swarming defense helps Indiana take 2-1 series lead
Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Paul George had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead the Pacers past the New York Knicks 82-71 Saturday night in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals at Indianapolis.
The Pacers are up 2-1, with Game 4 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday in Indy.
Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points to lead the Knicks, who led only once in the game for a total of 76 seconds. New York spent the final 45 minutes trying to play catch-up but never did.
Amare Stoudemire looked rusty after returning from a two-month absence, going 3 of 8 from the field and finishing with seven points. J.R. Smith scored nine points after missing the morning shootaround because of a 102-degree fever.
Indiana took control with a 14-3 run that gave it a 58-44 third-quarter lead, and the Knicks never got closer than eight
The big questions heading into the game were whether Smith would play, whether Stoudemire would be effective and whether Indiana could get back to its brand of basketball.
Smith gave it a go, but his shooting problems continued as he went 4 of 12 from the field and walked straight to the locker room when he was replaced with 7:45 left in the game. He returned to the game a few minutes later.
Stoudemire, meanwhile, hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in 8 minutes and grabbed two rebounds.
Four days after being embarrassed in a 26-point loss at New York, the Pacers got tough. New York shot just 35.2 percent from the field and made only three 3s, Anthony got into foul trouble by picking up three in a 2:18 span during the third quarter and, of course, Indiana finished with a 53-40 rebounding advantage.
Grizzlies 87, Thunder 81: Marc Gasol scored 20 points and hit two free throws with 1:03 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the Grizzlies held off Oklahoma City at Memphis, Tenn., to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal.
Gasol scored 16 in the second half as Memphis remained unbeaten at home in the postseason.
The Grizzlies pulled out the win in an ugly performance for both teams following a three-day layoff since Game 2. After struggling at the free-throw line in Oklahoma City, the Grizzlies hit all six at the line in the final 1:03 to clinch it.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points, but only two in the fourth quarter. A 91 percent free-throw shooter in the regular season, Durant missed two with 39.3 seconds left.
Tony Allen had his best game in this series, scoring 14 points for Memphis. Jerryd Bayless added 11. Zach Randolph scored only eight points but had 10 rebounds.
The Thunder had their worst scoring and shooting performance this postseason. Durant went 3 of 11 from the floor in the second half, and his teammates went a combined 23 of 69. Oklahoma City led 45-44 at halftime.
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