The New York Knicks got a vital 105-79 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, tying the series at 1-1 before it shifts to Indianapolis.
Everything turned on one timeout in the third quarter.
Indiana seemed to be seizing control of the game. They erased a five-point halftime deficit in no time at all, and grabbed a 64-62 lead when George Hill drilled a three-pointer with 3:28 left in the third quarter.
But their momentum was halted on the very next possession, when coach Frank Vogel called a timeout with 3:04 left so he could get Roy Hibbert some much-needed rest.
Whether it was the timeout itself or the decision to rest Hibbert and lean on their notoriously weak bench, that pause came back to bite the Pacers, big-time.
The Knicks went on a 5-0 run before Vogel quickly re-inserted Hibbert. They finished the quarter on a 10-2 run. And when the fourth quarter started, they blew Indy out of the building with an incredible 20-0 run that lasted until 4:48 left in the game.
In all, the Knicks outscored the Pacers 30-2 in the 11 minutes after the Vogel timeout/Hibbert benching.
16 of those points came from Carmelo Anthony.
It’s not the end of the world for Indiana. But with three minutes left in the third quarter, the Pacers had a real chance to win this came and take a commanding 2-0 series lead, and they took their collective foot of the glass.
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