New York has a chance to become the first team to win two games in a row and get back into the NBA playoffs since the 2008-09 season, with a win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
The Knicks, who were a team to watch in the second half of the season, led by as many as 19 points in the first half before Indiana scored 27 straight points to take the lead for good.
New York led by double digits for much of the second quarter, and the Knicks were able to take control in the third quarter when they shot 55.5 percent and outrebounded the Pacers 44-38.
After the game, New York coach Derek Fisher said he was pleased with the effort of the Knicks, but he didn’t think they could have won on the road.
“I think we were able in a lot of different ways to put the pressure on,” Fisher said.
“And then when we got the ball back in, I think we took advantage of the opportunities.”
The Knicks were coming off of a 112-98 victory over Charlotte on Sunday and will get another chance to go on a run after losing their next three games.
Carmelo Anthony was a game-time decision for Indiana after hurting his knee in the game’s final minutes.
Anthony scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds.
“Carmelo’s playing really well,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
“(He) looked very good, made a couple of shots, was active in the post and made some shots.”
Vogel was pleased that the Pacers were able, despite playing without center Roy Hibbert, to play their way out of their first two games with the All-Star center out.
“The Pacers were playing very well on defense, were able and ready to attack the basket,” Vogel told the team’s official website.
“So, we didn’t need Roy Hibber.
We didn’t have to do that.”
The Pacers were the only team with a negative field-goal percentage in the final period.
Indiana (9-11) was the first to fall behind by as much as 10 points and lost for the first time this season, in a 105-102 loss to Denver on Dec. 6.
Indiana has won seven of its last nine against the Knicks.
The Pacers also have lost three of their last four at home, and Indiana was 2 of 18 in those games.
Indiana is 5-1 against New York in the season series.
The winner of this game will move on to face the San Antonio Spurs on Monday.
The New York win moves the Pacers back to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, and puts them within striking distance of a second-round matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, which is tied at 2-2.
New Orleans (9) will host the Celtics on Tuesday.
The Pelicans are still without point guard Jrue Holiday, who is out with a strained left hamstring.
The Celtics are 6-8 without Holiday, and they are 1-4 in games decided by eight points or fewer.
“We didn’t play well enough,” guard Isaiah Thomas told the New Orleans newspaper the team reported after Sunday’s loss.
“It’s something that we’ve been working on.
We’ve been trying to find ways to get better.” “
That’s why it’s been frustrating.
We’ve been trying to find ways to get better.”
Thomas was 1 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range, and was held to 11 points in 28 minutes.
“This was one of those nights where I was really struggling to make shots, and that’s why I didn’t make a lot,” Thomas said.
New England, which was 10-4 when Holiday was out, was without All-Stars Marcus Smart and Marcus Camby and forward J.R. Smith, who both missed Sunday’s game with a sore left ankle.
Smart and Camby were both expected to play after missing their previous two games.
Camby had a season-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and Smart had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics.
Boston won 98-87 at Portland on Dec., 11.
Smart has averaged 18.5 points, 6.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds in the last three games against New Orleans.
Camas was held scoreless in his last three matchups against the Pelicans.