Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Friday, November 9th
Game 2: Saturday, December 8th
Game 3: Friday, February 1st

Knicks 87

(18-26, 6-16 away)

Pacers 92

(25-23, 15-9 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:00 PM ET, February 1, 2002

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 20 20 30 1787
    IND 22 31 19 2092

    Top Performers

    NY: A. Houston 27 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Ind: J. O'Neal 18 Pts, 13 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    Miller seals see-saw game

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Jermaine O'Neal showed no signs of being hampered by an injured leg while displaying why he is a first-time All Star.

    Reggie Miller scored 20 points and O'Neal and Jonathan Bender each had 18 as the Indiana Pacers beat New York 92-87 Friday night, snapping the Knicks' four-game winning streak.

    The Pacers trailed by three with 3:50 left before closing with a 10-2 run and holding the Knicks to 1-for-7 shooting during that span. They used two strong defensive efforts in that span -- forcing a shot-clock violation and getting a block from O'Neal -- to thwart New York.

    There were four ties and five lead changes in the fourth quarter, with the Pacers taking the lead for good on Jeff Foster's tip-in with 2:45 left. O'Neal's layup made it 90-87 but the Knicks followed with the violation.

    Then a Pacers turnover led to a fast break, but O'Neal came racing down the court to block Latrell Sprewell's layup and send the ball out of bounds.

    "I couldn't get up high enough," Sprewell said. "I knew he was coming so I knew I had to get it up high, but I just couldn't push off my right foot."

    Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said it was a play that showed why O'Neal, who had his hyperextended left knee swell up on Friday, is going to the All-Star game next week.

    "The way he ran down Sprewell, it reminded me of a young (Hakeem) Olajuwon, how he ran guys down to block the shot," Thomas said. "It was a great play."

    It turned out to be the only block for O'Neal, who entered averaging 2.5 a game. He also had 13 rebounds for his 22nd double-double.

    "I know things can happen when they get easy buckets like that, so I wanted to run him down, get him to make a tough shot or have me be able to block the shot," O'Neal said.

    The Knicks had the ball and Miller was called for a foul -- his fifth -- but Allan Houston missed both free throws.

    "I've got to step up and make them," Houston said. "They both felt real funny coming off. I was in a position to put us within one point and it didn't happen."

    Miller then hit two free throws, icing the Pacers third win in their last four games.

    Travis Best scored 11 for the Pacers, and Foster added 11 rebounds and put in the game-winning tip off Bender's miss.

    "I keep saying Jeff is the one guy we can't do without," Thomas said. "He make momentum plays, back-breaking plays like the tap he got."

    Houston led the Knicks with 27 points, Sprewell had 18, Clarence Weatherspoon had a season-high 14 and Kurt Thomas 12. The Knicks played all but six minutes without Marcus Camby, who bruised his hip in the first quarter.

    Knicks coach Don Chaney said he didn't know how much time, if any, Camby would miss but said he was hurting after the game.

    "It's tough because once again it puts a strain on our front line," Chaney said. "I've said how important Marcus is in terms of protecting the basket and his versatility late in the game."

    The Knicks went on a 23-10 run in the third and tied the game at 63 after a jumper by Othella Harrington. The Pacers scored the next seven points and led 72-70 after three.

    Houston scored 12 of points in the third quarter on 5-of-7 shooting.

    "I just got going and had better rhythm with my shots," Houston said.

    Consecutive baskets by Sprewell gave New York an 80-76 lead in the fourth. A running jumper by Mark Jackson made it 85-82.

    Bender scored all 18 of his points in the first half, going 7-for-11 overall and 4-for-7 from 3-point range. He helped the Pacers take a 53-40 lead at the half. Bender missed all three of his shots in the second half.

    Game notes
    New Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy served as the Pacers honorary coach. ...Camby was helped off the court after he bruised his right hip. Camby landed hard on his side after he attempted a driving layup along the baseline and collided with O'Neal with 6:16 left in the first quarter. X-rays were negative and he is listed as day-to-day. ...Tinsley returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday's game with hip and groin injuries. Best started at point guard, but Tinsley came back in the second quarter and finished with seven points in 19 minutes. ...The Pacers rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat New York in November. ...Indiana had its seventh sellout. ...The Knicks had a season-low eight turnovers. ...The Pacers attempted more 3-pointers (20) than free throws (17).

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 92
    FGM-FGA 34-81 (.420) 36-71 (.507)
    3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 8-20 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 13-19 (.684) 12-17 (.706)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-32 8-42
    Assists 16 26
    Turnovers 8 16
    Steals 9 4
    Blocks 5 6
    Fast Break Points 4 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (1/0) 18 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Allan Houston Houston
    Points: 27
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 18
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1