Pacers Destroy Knicks, Even Series at 2-2

Entering Sunday’s pivotal Game 4, the New York Knicks held a 2-1 lead over the Indiana Pacers following three competitive games — Game 4 was over within minutes.

The Knicks scored the first basket of the game to take a 2-0 lead and they never led again. A T.J. McConnell basket with 5:30 remaining in the first quarter gave the host Pacers a 14-4 lead, and by the end of the opening quarter, Indiana’s lead exploded to 20 points.

The Pacers led by 28 at halftime and saw their lead grow to as many as 43 points in the second half. Tyrese Haliburton led the team with 20 points, but it was truly a collective effort en route to the 121-89 triumph. Overall, Indiana shot 56.8% from the field and 45.2% from beyond the arc.

On the other side of the court, New York looked lethargic from the opening tip.

“We can talk about fresher legs and you can give us all the pity that we want,” Jalen Brunson said. “Yeah, we’re shorthanded, but that doesn’t matter right now. We have what we have and we need to go forward with that. … There is no excuse. There’s no excuse whatsoever. If we lose, we lose. That’s what that was.”

Brunson was the only starter to score double-digit points (18), as the Knicks shot 33.7% overall and made only 7-of-37 three-point attempts. While Indiana must be feeling great about itself as the series heads back to New York, coach Rick Carlisle knows that the series is far from over.

“New York is a team that has shown that it has an indomitable will to compete and rise above anything people say they can’t do,” Carlisle said. “And we’ve seen it throughout the season. We’ve seen it in this series. We’re believers in that, and so we got to focus on us. … Everything is going to be a situation where you’ve got your hands completely full.”