Bigger, badder, and, so far, better.
Physical beat finesse Sunday, as the Indiana Pacers outworked and outmuscled the Knicks in a 102-95 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in New York.
David West scored 20 points and Paul George added 19 for the Pacers, who outrebounded the Knicks, 44-30, showing the smaller team that in the rugged East, size does matter.
‘‘I thought guys did a good job just putting them on their heels,’’ West said. ‘‘We were attacking, we were aggressive.’’
D.J. Augustin had 16 points for the Pacers, who built a 16-point lead while Carmelo Anthony was on the bench in foul trouble in the third quarter, and easily held on to spoil the Knicks’ first second-round game since 2000.
Anthony finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, but was frustrated by the Pacers’ tough defense and by the referees.
He shot 10 of 28 from the field and was perhaps thrown out of synch having to defend West, a natural power forward, inside.
The Pacers outscored New York, 59-38, across the middle two quarters and were comfortably ahead throughout the fourth.
Thunder 93, Grizzlies 91 — Kevin Durant connected on a jumper with 11.1 seconds left for the last of his 35 points to put host Oklahoma City ahead as the Thunder took Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal series after trailing for most of the second half.
Derek Fisher poked the ball away from Grizzlies guard Mike Conley, springing Durant for the go-ahead basket. After a Memphis turnover, former Boston College standout Reggie Jackson hit a pair of free throws to give the Thunder a 93-90 lead.
Jackson then fouled Quincy Pondexter as he attempted a tying 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left. Pondexter, a 72 percent career free throw shooter, missed the first foul shot. He made his second attempt before intentionally missing the third, but Durant swatted the rebound away and Marc Gasol’s attempt at a buzzer-beater was late.