At one point of Tuesday's Game 2, the Indiana Pacers were being done in by turnovers. Then the New York Knicks held them scoreless for the first 7:52 of the fourth quarter.
The result was obvious: a home-team rout by a final of 105-79.
The New York onslaught started toward the end of the third quarter, but the Knicks used a 12:19 period of shutout defense to put things out of reach. The Pacers didn't get a basket until an Orlando Johnson three with 3:09 left in the fourth.
Yes, Orlando Johnson. By then, Frank Vogel had thrown in the towel with his subs.
Carmelo Anthony scored 11 points in the final frame before he was pulled for good at the 4:54 mark. He finished with 32 points on 13-of-26 shooting—his first quality shooting performance since Game 3 against the Boston Celtics.
New York got 32 points off a disappointing 21 turnovers by the Pacers, who struggled with the ball all night. After being out-rebounded by 14 in Game 1, the Knicks turned things around and were plus-two in the rebounding column in Game 2.
The Pacers had to be pleased heading into the intermission down only 47-42, despite surrendering 12 turnovers.
Paul George was playing superbly for much of the game and scored his 20th point at the 8:14 mark of the third quarter. Unfortunately, he couldn't contribute anymore than that.
A Lance Stephenson trey gave the Pacers their first lead of the game with 4:13 left in the third after they had trailed by as many as 13 in the first half. Vogel used Sam Young for spot minutes against Anthony in Game 1 to bland results. In Game 2, he went with Jeff Pendergraph. The results were similarly shaky.
For New York, J.R. Smith was just atrocious through much of the game. He helped neither himself nor his teammates, going just 3-of-15 from the field for eight points and one assist. The Knicks closed the third quarter on a 10-2 run, courtesy of some fancy fast-break work by Raymond Felton and Kenyon Martin.
Pablo Prigioni kicked off the final quarter with an improbable tear, ripping off five straight points to extend the Knicks' run to 15-2. He finished with 10 points and four assists, shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from the field.
The Pacers, despite falling further and further behind, continued to heave up ill-advised threes. They dropped behind by 21 on an Anthony three-point play with 6:33 to go.
The Knicks polished off the Pacers with a 33-13 fourth-quarter performance to split the opening homestand at Madison Square Garden—something the Pacers won't be too displeased about despite the blowout.
The teams meet again in Indiana for Game 3 on Saturday. Something else to look for then will be a possible Amar'e Stoudemire sighting.