NBA playoffs: Pacers 82, Knicks 71: Hibbert, George give Pacers series edge

2013-05-12T00:00:00Z NBA playoffs: Pacers 82, Knicks 71: Hibbert, George give Pacers series edgeThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 12, 2013 12:00 am  • 

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Pacers kept everything in front of them Saturday night.

The Pacers didn't let the Knicks get away from them on fast breaks, didn't let the Knicks get good three-point looks and didn't even give New York a chance to challenge late.

Instead, Roy Hibbert, Paul George and Indiana showed what it can do when it plays its game.

Hibbert finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while George nearly came up with another postseason triple double, leading the Pacers to a crucial 82-71 Game 3 victory and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.

"That's how we play Pacers basketball," George said. "We just locked in, and it was just helping one another on the defensive end."

Sure, Indiana could have been sidetracked by the embarrassing 26-point loss at New York in Game 2. Or it could have gotten caught up in the pregame banter about Amare Stoudemire's impending return or J.R Smith's sudden illness.

But the Pacers never got distracted.

Coach Frank Vogel's bunch followed the same game plan it has all season - locking down defensively, winning the rebounding battle and protecting its home court.

Check, check and check.

Indiana limited the Knicks to 35.2 percent shooting from the floor, allowed just three three-pointers and forced 15 turnovers. And, of course, the league's No. 1 rebounding team dominated the glass again, finishing with a 53-40 rebounding edge and a 20-10 edge in second-chance points.

George struggled to score, finishing with 14 points, but he also finished with eight rebounds and eight assists and caused plenty of consternation for Carmelo Anthony and others on defense.

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