The Indiana Pacers defeated the New York Knicks on Saturday night in game six of the 2013 NBA Playoffs ending New York’s season and propelling the Pacers to their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since the Reggie Miller era.
The Pacers out-muscled the Knicks from the start of the contest and as a result had a seven rebound advantage.
Indiana’s patented physical style of play and the unlikely heroics of role player Lance Stephenson in the fourth quarter led to the victory.
Lance Stephenson replaced Chris Copeland in the role of unlikely savior on Saturday as he scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, wiping out all possibilities of a dramatic second-half rally. The Knicks trailed 55-47 at halftime and the team had appeared lethargic for a majority of the contest. As a result the efficient Pacers would pull away in the second half.
Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert did everything possible to at least make this game close and it nearly did. After the Knicks hit three three-pointers in-a-row to get the lead to one.
It was close for the rest of the game until late in the fourth quarter, when Stephenson really made his mark. One of the major issues for New York was shooting guard JR Smith. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year Award winner did not play well and disappeared when it mattered the most.
This became detrimental to the Knicks chances to at least get the opportunity to get to a game seven. He forced the issue from the beginning and his shot selection was horrible resulting in going 4-15 from the field and only 2-9 from beyond the arc.
With the Pacers advancing the team will get to face the Miami Heat in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals and being one of the better defensive teams it will definitely become a very good series.