May 21, 2024

Wednesday’s NBA playoffs score, takeaways: Knicks keep dropping; Pacers can’t capitalize

The Indiana Pacers returned to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night time, trying to even their sequence with the New York Knicks after a controversial ending to Monday’s Game 1 had allowed the home team to slip away. Instead, the Pacers depart New York in a 2-0 gap after the Knicks draw back late.

Here’s what we noticed in Game 2.

Knicks 130, Pacers 121

Series: Knicks lead 2-0

Game 3: 7 p.m. ET Friday in Indianapolis (ESPN)

Knicks survive with out Anunoby, however dropping him may harm

The Knicks couldn’t keep away from each harm.

On the identical night time that Jalen Brunson suffered a foot harm, which price him the second quarter however impressed a miraculous second half, New York misplaced its defensive stopper, OG Anunoby. It’s not clear when the Knicks will get him again.

Brunson harm his foot close to the top of the primary quarter however strode again out onto the ground at halftime, revving for 25 factors simply within the second half of the win. Anunoby didn’t have the identical fortune.

He exited the sport within the third quarter, holding his left hamstring as he limped to the locker room. The Knicks dominated him out with “left hamstring soreness” not lengthy later.

New York could have received with out him. It clamped down the Pacers, by Indiana’s ridiculous offensive requirements, within the fourth quarter. But till the harm, Anunoby was hovering to his biggest recreation since becoming a member of the Knicks greater than 4 months in the past: 28 factors, 4 rebounds and three assists.

He is the spine of the Knicks’ protection. If they’ve him transferring ahead, New York is in fine condition to keep profitable. If they don’t, it opens the door just a little extra for the Pacers. — Fred Katz

Pacers can’t capitalize on Knicks’ dangerous luck

The Pacers had their possibilities.

They virtually stole Game 1 earlier than a disastrous remaining minute. They had the Knicks on the ropes, and hurting, in Game 2. New York saved dropping key gamers and the Pacers saved gaining alternatives. But they may head again to Indianapolis down 2-0 on this sequence after a 130-121 Game 2 loss at Madison Square Garden.

Wednesday, they simply couldn’t match the Knicks’ competitiveness, their expertise, their relentless drive. New York retains dropping starters — and Jalen Brunson for 15-plus minutes within the first half — and it doesn’t matter. The Pacers keep dropping video games in New York. Tyrese Haliburton rebounded for a giant recreation, discovering the appropriate setting for his aggressiveness to attain 31 factors and dish out 9 assists. T.J. McConnell was once more a spark plug with 10 factors and 12 assists. Obi Toppin even got here off the bench to offer them 20 factors.

Didn’t matter.

The Knicks are the crew with an Adamantium skeleton and the Pacers can’t keep them down. They’ll must determine one thing out at dwelling or this sequence will probably be over actual fast. — Mike Vorkunov

(Photo: Elsa / Getty Images)