Series goes back to Indiana as the Pacers look to book a berth in Conference finals.
Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 28 points and the New York Knicks staved off elimination with a wire-to-wire 85-75 victory over Indiana in game five of their second round NBA playoff series.
J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland came off the bench to score 13 points each for the Knicks, who closed the Eastern Conference contest on a 10-4 scoring run in front of a crowd of 19,033 at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony had one of his best games of the series, and he got plenty of help from the bench as other Knicks starters continued to struggle.
Starting center Tyson Chandler had just two points and guard Pablo Prigioni three, but that was offset by Smith and Copeland’s contributions as the Knicks cut the Pacers’ series lead to 3-2.
The win earns the Knicks at least one more game in the best-of-seven series as game six is scheduled for Saturday in Indianapolis.
The Knicks haven’t beaten the Pacers in Indiana in four games this season, but Pacers coach Frank Vogel said his team would have to play better to close out New York.
“We had a lot of problems,” Vogel said. “We didn’t play a good basketball game. I cautioned our guys that coming home and playing a game six at home isn’t going to beat the Knicks.
“We’ve got to play a much more determined basketball game, a much more efficient basketball game. We’ve got to play better.”
The winner of the series will play reigning NBA champions Miami in the Eastern Conference finals for a berth in the league’s championship series.
Anthony, who shot just nine-of-23 in a game-four loss, carried the load for New York on Thursday.
He also set the tone in the opening minute with a hard foul for the Knicks, who connected on 41 percent of their shots from the field but forced 19 turnovers, including seven in the final quarter.
Raymond Felton chipped in 12 points for New York.
“Our backs were against the wall,” Anthony said. “We weren’t ready to go home yet. We wanted to protect our home court. We let one slip away here on our home court and that put us in the position we’re in now. We’re going to take it one day at a time.”
Paul George led Indiana with 23 points and six assists and David West had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who are trying to advance to the NBA semi-finals for the first time since 2004.
D.J. Augustin scored 12 points on three-of-nine shooting for the Pacers, who lost despite outrebounding New York 43-40.
The Pacers got within four in the final quarter, when George’s three-pointer made it 75-71 with 6:42 remaining.
But three turnovers in the final two minutes doomed any chance of a Pacers rally.
Indiana also struggled from the foul line, making just 19 of 33 free throws.
“We’ve got to play better,” Vogel said. “We’re just a little out of sync offensively — that contributed to the turnovers. Free throws, it was just one of those nights.
“Every team in basketball has a night like this where you don’t knock them down. To me that’s an encouraging thing because if we make our free throws, different ball game.”
Augustin was starting in place of point guard George Hill, who sat out with a concussion he suffered in Tuesday’s game.