Over the weekend, Indiana earned its first trip to the Eastern Conference final since 2004, while the Spurs schooled Memphis in Game 1 of their Western Conference final.
Pacers eliminate Knicks to advance to conference final
On Saturday night, the Indiana Pacers’ Lance Stephenson had 23 points and 10 rebounds to pace his team to a 106-99 victory over the New York Knicks and secure their first trip to the Eastern Conference final since 2004, four games to two. The Pacers will now face the Miami Heat in Miami on Wednesday night, from whom Indiana took two out of three games during the regular season.
The Pacers had a lift in morale, as well as the score, with 12 points from George Hill, who returned triumphantly to the lineup after having been injured earlier last week – courtesy of an elbow from the Knicks’ Tyson Chandler.
Indiana out-rebounded the Knicks, 43-36, and used that advantage to significant effect by outscoring New York, 52-20, in the paint. The Pacers also managed to get to the free throw line 46 times (making 34 shots) as opposed to only 18 trips to the charity stripe for the Knicks (where they were a perfect 18-18). This development was enabled by the Knicks committing over twice as many fouls as Indiana.
All five Pacers starters finished in double figures, with Stephenson and Hill being joined by Paul George (23 points), David West (17 points) and Roy Hibbert’s 21.
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