The Knicks closed the first quarter with a 9-0 spurt, taking a 27-22 lead after 3-pointers by Smith and Felton to end the period. But the Pacers tightened the defense in the second, holding the Knicks to two baskets in the final 5 minutes.
Indiana outscored New York 13-4 during that stretch, taking a 52-46 lead to halftime after George hit a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left.
The Pacers, who also were the league’s best team at defending the 3-pointer, limited the Knicks to 19 attempts and actually made more (8-7). Augustin was 4 of 5 off the bench.
Notes: Anthony averaged 29.1 points in the first round, equaling the second-highest ever by a Knicks player. Patrick Ewing had 31.6 per game in a 1990 series. ... Anthony received the one first-place vote that kept LeBron James from being the NBA’s first unanimous selection as MVP. ‘‘That’s the furthest thing on my mind at this point in time,’’ said Anthony, who was third in the voting behind Kevin Durant. ‘‘I'll take that vote.’’ ... Indiana won both matchups in the conference semifinals, a 4-3 victory in 1995 and a 4-1 win in 1998. ... Indiana’s Jeff Pendergraph was fined $5,000 by the NBA, the first player punished for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules in the playoffs. ... Novak said he hurt his back while warming up at halftime of Game 5 against Boston, but has been feeling better each day since.
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