Carmelo Anthony finally got out of his slump, making 13-of-26 buckets for 32 points in Game 2 of the semifinals against the Pacers, leading the Knicks to a 105-79 over Indiana, tying the series at 1-1.
After getting embarrassed, and smacked down from cloud nine by the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the semifinals, the Knicks snapped out of their funk and had a complete game. The team’s defense woke up after a Game 1 slumber and forced 21 turnovers in Game 2. They held the Pacers scoreless in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, and to 36 percent shooting in the second half.
Tyson Chandler, who had a forgettable Game 1, redeemed himself by scoring eight points, four rebounds and shutting down Pacers center Roy Hibbert who scored six points.
Carmelo Anthony finally had a good game, scoring a game-high 32 points (13 of 26 shooting) with nine rebounds and two steals. Iman Shumpert continues to show that he has his game back, contributing 15 points, while Raymond Felton contributed 14. Kenyon Martin scored 10 points, and Pablo Prigioni (the spark to the Knicks’ 30-2 run) scored 10 points, eight of those coming in the final quarter.
The Knicks were up by as much as 13 in the first half, but the Pacers kept fighting back and scored the last eight points of the second quarter to close the half down only 47-42. The Pacers then took the lead later in the third quarter with a Lance Stephenson three-pointer, making the game 61-60.
The Pacers lead was short-lived, though, as the Knicks came back to life, refusing to lose Game 2 in front of their home crowd again. Anthony scored five straight points, and the Knicks finished the quarter on a 12-5 run. The Knicks then blew the top off of Madison Square Garden as they scored the first 20 points of the fourth quarter.
J.R. Smith continues to struggle with his shot, scoring only eight points on 3-of-15 shooting, which is a concern for the Knicks—who need his scoring ability to complement Anthony’s game and generate the type of offense they did that led the Knicks to 54 regular season wins, if they want to be successful.
The Knicks have a much-needed few days off, to rest and heal, before heading to Indiana for Game 3 on Saturday.