Pacers romp over Knicks
INDIANAPOLIS — For Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, it didn’t matter that the New York Knicks were without their two top scorers.
“At the end of the day, it didn’t matter who was out there we had to come ready to play,” Oladipo said. “No matter who is out there, they are a great team that plays hard and plays together. So we had to be ready to play.”
The Pacers definitely were. Indiana shot a sizzling 63.4 percent in the first half to take a 26-point halftime lead en route to a 115-97 romp over the Knicks on Monday night
The Knicks (11-12) played without top scorers, Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr., for the second consecutive game, both losses.
Porzingis is out with sprained right ankle and an illness. Hardaway is sidelined with lower left leg injury. Michael Beasley started in Portzingis’ spot, and Damyean Dotson replaced Hardaway in the starting lineup.
Thaddeus Young led the Pacers (13-11) with 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
“I was just taking advantage of mismatches,” Young said. “The team put me in good position to score and we found open guys.”
Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points, hitting 7 of 11 shots. Oladipo made 3 of 5 3-pointers, finishing with 16.
Seven players scored in double figures for Indiana. Domantas Sabonis contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Darren Collison had 10 points and 10 assists.
“When you are sharing the ball and moving the ball, everybody gets involved and that’s very difficult to defend good ball movement like that,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.
Willy Hernangomez led the Knicks with 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Beasley scored 13 points, all in the first half.
“I don’t think we scored very well (Monday night), that’s what really got us in the hole,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We weren’t getting any threes, weren’t getting any penetration to kick-outs. We scored a lot of points in the latter part of the game when it was over.”
The Pacers, who made 11 of 26 3-pointers for 42.3 percent, are 11-1 when it shoots 40 percent or better from the 3-point line. Indiana had a season-high 31 fast-break points.
The contest was the opener of a six-game homestand for the Pacers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Overall, Indiana shot 53.5 percent from the field. Indiana led 66-40 at the half and scored the first 12 points of the third quarter to push the margin to 78-40, its largest lead. The Pacers led 95-65 after three quarters.
“When you are missing two of your top scorers, you have to deal with defense and we can’t afford to give up 64 percent in the first half.”
The Knicks hit 42.9 percent (18 of 42) from the field in the opening half. For the game, the Knicks made 40 of 91 shots (44 percent).
The Knicks never led, but the game was tied three times early. After the score was 13-13, the Pacers went on an 18-6 run to take a 31-19 lead after one quarter.
“We just weren’t in the right spots,” Beasley said. “Our rotations were pretty bad. We have to do better spacing the floor, move the ball side to side, penetrate and kick. We couldn’t get anything going on the defensive side and they really got anything they wanted.
NOTES: Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said G Tim Hardaway Jr. is still being evaluated and there is no update on his lower left leg injury. Hornacek said he hopes rest will help F Kristaps Porzingis be able to play soon. New York hosts Memphis on Wednesday night. ... New York F Courtney Lee was under the weather, according to Hornacek, but he still started and scored eight points. Lee played at Pike High School in Indianapolis. ... The Pacers lost to host New York 108-101 on Nov. 5. The teams meet for the final time this season at Indiana on Feb. 11. ... Pacers G Darren Collison has led the Pacers in assists 18 times this season. ... Knicks F Joakim Noah played in just his second game all season, finishing with three points and four rebounds. He missed the first 12 games, finishing a 20-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy.