Saturday, May 11th, 2013 at 8:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Preview: IND vs NYK, Game 3

Scott Agness | May 8, 2013 | Updated May 10, 6:35 PM

Matchup

The Pacers returned to Indianapolis having achieved what they set out to do – win at least one of the first two games on the road to steal homecourt advantage from the New York Knicks. They have three days between games to think over the way Game 2 unfolded, knowing that they missed out on a golden opportunity to make a big splash and go ahead 2-0 in the series. Back in front of the home fans and a “Gold Out” at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Pacers aim to take back the series lead for good.

The top item on the agenda will be cleaning up their offensive possessions. In their Game 2 loss, they had 21 giveaways, which the Knicks converted into 32 points. Even in their win on Sunday they had 16 turnovers – almost three more than average. The Knicks, who led the league with the least amount of turnovers during the regular season (11.6), had just 17 total in the first two games.

On Tuesday, the Pacers were timid and soft in the first quarter, according to center Roy Hibbert. Instead of being the more aggressive team, this time it was the Pacers that were outplayed.

They never led in the first half but surged ahead 64-62 late in the third quarter on back-to-back three-pointers from Lance Stephenson and George Hill. Then, they hit a dry spell, going 12:19 without making a field goal. During that stretch, the Knicks outscored the Pacers 36-4, including 16 points from Carmelo Anthony. Frank Vogel emptied his bench with 6:01 to play as the Knicks evened the series at one game apiece with a 105-79 win.

Related: Turnovers, Timeout-Gate, No Excuse Saturday »

The bright lights and big stage weren’t too much for the youthful Pacers in Game 1. It was a balanced attack, with seven guys tallying at least eight points, that proved more than the Knicks could handle. Roy Hibbert owned the paint, protected the rim, and was arguably the player of the game. Paul George limited the production of Anthony and J.R. Smith, Lance Stephenson gobbled up a career-high 13 rebounds, and David West was a beast in the post. Off the bench, D.J. Augustin ended up being the X-factor in the game as he nailed 5-of-6 shots and finished with 16 points.

Related: Smith Questionable, Stoudemire Back »

Just as the Knicks did in Game 2, the Pacers pulled away in the third and had a 16-point advantage with one quarter to play. Indiana won all the physicality departments – rebounds, points in the paint and second chance points – causing Anthony postgame to say, “They outplayed and outworked us.”

In order to win the series the Pacers have to be an assertive team that can withstand a few blows but ultimately land the knockout punch. Thus far, the team that’s ended up on top in in the physicality departments has won each game.

Related: Stoudemire's Return »   Combating Monotony »

Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire hasn’t played in a game since early March due to a right knee injury, but earlier this week he participated on 3-on-3 drills. If his knee responds well, he’s expected to play. His rhythm and conditioning will obviously come with time but the Knicks hope to have him out there, at least in a limited role.

Three keys for a Pacers victory: 1) Win the battle at the rim, 2) Minimize turnovers and 3) Contain Carmelo Anthony.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Raymond Felton

Raymond Felton

Pablo Prigioni

Pablo Prigioni

Iman Shumpert

Iman Shumpert

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

Tyson Chandler

Tyson Chandler

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Knicks: J.R. Smith (questionable, illness), Steve Novak (probable, back spasms), Amar'e Stoudemire (probable, right knee debridement)

Quotable

"Biggest thing is limiting turnovers but really just fine-tuning what we have to do defensively, in terms of trying to limit Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith without freeing up their 3-point attack." – Frank Vogel on the emphasis of the last two practice days

"We had some real good practices. Our focal points were taking care of the ball, especially when they’re tracking. That’s going to be a big key and I think everything else will take care of itself." – Paul George

"All year long when things happened and we had adversity, we come to the occasion of coming out the next game really trying to prove a point. I'm sure this team is going to be amped to play on Saturday, I’m sure our building is going to be live and we just have to take it one game at a time." – George Hill

"We knew that we were not going to sweep. They are too good of a team, so we are just going to have to grind it out and make sure we take care of home and come back here. It's going to be a fun series. It’s going to be one that people are going to talk about." – Roy Hibbert

"Nobody said it was going to be easy. We lost home-court advantage. The only way to get out of this series is to get one and it would be nice to start with Saturday.” – Knicks coach Mike Woodson

"It’s going to be a hostile environment. We have to keep a level head, from the fans to the officials to one another. We have to play consistent on the defensive end. Defense first, and let that dictate the offense.” – J.R. Smith

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers are 2-0 vs. the Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season.
  • New York has held its opponent to 80 points or fewer in five postseason wins.
  • Tuesday’s win was the Knicks’ first in the second round of the playoffs since 2000 and the first for head coach Mike Woodson (previously 0-9).
  • The game has been designated as a "Gold Out," and every fan in attendance will receive a gold shirt.

Last Meeting

May 7: The Pacers faltered over the final 15:38, hitting just four field goals and getting outscored 33-15. Behind 32 points from Carmelo Anthony, including 16 during that stretch, the Knicks coasted to a 105-79 win in Game 2.

The Pacers were beat in the toughness categories: 29-8 on second chance points, 52-40 in the paint, and on the glass (-2). Paul George had 20 points but he also threw it away seven times, both team-highs. Turnovers were the most glaring statistic as the Knicks scored 32 points off of 21 Indiana turnovers.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings

TV: ABC - Mike Breen (play-by-play), Jeff Van Gundy (analyst), Doris Burke (reporter)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Michael Grady (host)
Note: The Pacers TV crew of Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner, Austin Croshere and Brooke Olzendam will have a 30-minute postgame show on FOX Sports Indiana immediately following the game./>/>

Ticket Information

Tickets for Game 3 are very limited, however, good seats remain for Games 4 and 6 (if nec.) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Find Tickets »

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