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Pacers seek stranglehold of series with Knicks
(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks will try to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series Tuesday night in Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers.
When the series shifted to Indianapolis on Saturday, the Pacers responded with an 82-71 victory. The Pacers, one of the NBA's elite defensive teams, have won 16-of-17 this season when holding opponents under 80 points.
The Knicks' offense struggled badly on Saturday. They shot 35 percent from the floor and only 27 percent from beyond the 3-point line. New York averaged almost 11 made 3-pointers a game during the regular season, but has converted on less than seven against the Pacers.
And on Sunday, Knicks center Tyson Chandler blamed the offensive woes on ball movement. Without naming names, Chandler seemed to be calling out his teammate, and the NBA's leading scorer this season, Carmelo Anthony.
"You have to sacrifice yourself sometimes for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of your teammates," Chandler said. "So when you drive in the paint, you draw, you kick it. We need to do a better job of allowing the game to dictate who takes the shots and not the individuals."
Anthony responded on Monday.
"I really don't want to go back and forth about that because I really don't know exactly what he was talking about," Anthony said after practice. "We'll discuss that amongst ourselves and figure that out."
Anthony was the only Knicks player in double figures in Game 3 with 21 and he attempted a series-low 16 shots.
Chandler, who was named to the All-Defensive first team on Monday, didn't play his best game in the postseason. Indiana's Roy Hibbert recorded a game-high 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
"He's just oozing with confidence," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Saturday night of his center. "He's playing extremely well on both ends of the court. We know he's going to dominate on the defensive end. When he has offensive production like he did tonight, then we're pretty good."
Hibbert shot 50 percent from the field for Indiana, but the rest of the Pacers didn't shoot lights out. The remaining Indiana players shot 30 percent from the field, although George Hill, David West and Paul George, who was named to the All-Defensive second team, each cracked the 10-point mark.
The Knicks know a setback on Tuesday spells trouble. They'd take a 3-1 deficit back to Madison Square Garden where the Pacers won Game 1 of this series. So far in the postseason, Indiana is a perfect 4-0 at home.
"This is a gut-check game for us," Anthony said after practice on Monday. "This is a big game for us. Tomorrow will tell us a lot about our team. We're not going to fold."
The Pacers will be ready.
"We have to come out and expect their best effort," said George. "We got Game 1 and they came out with great effort in Game 2. We got Game 3 and we should expect them to come out with the same great effort in Game 4 as they had in Game 2."
On the injury front, Knicks wing Iman Shumpert has a sore knee and was restricted in practice on Monday. He is listed as questionable.
Game 5 will be Thursday night in New York City.
05/14 10:48:56 ET
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