Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Paul George had 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists to lead the Indiana Pacers past the New York Knicks, 82-71, Saturday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Indianapolis.
The Pacers lead the series, 2-1.
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 7 points. J.R. Smith scored 9 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 8.
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 eight minutes and grabbed two rebounds.
The biggest difference between Games 2 and 3 was how the Pacers played.
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 3-pointers. Anthony got into foul trouble by picking up three in a 2:18 span during the third quarter. 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 host Memphis ahead to stay, and the Grizzlies held off Oklahoma City to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.
Gasol scored 16 points 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 2 in the fourth quarter. A 91 percent free throw shooter in the regular season, Durant missed two with 39.3 seconds left.
Former Celtic Tony Allen had his best game in this series, scoring 14 points for Memphis.
The Thunder had their worst scoring and shooting performance this postseason. Reggie Jackson had 16 points for Oklahoma City, and Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka each added 13. Durant went 3 of 11 from the floor in the second half, and his teammates went a combined 23 of 69 for the game.Memphis coach Lionel Hollins switched up his defense on Durant from the first two games. He didn’t put Allen on Durant until the final minutes of Game 2. This time, he alternated Allen with Tayshaun Prince defending Durant throughout the first half.