Indianapolis, IN – Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers bounced back with an 82-71 victory over the New York Knicks in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
"I think this is his best playoff game ever, probably. He's oozing confidence," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said of Hibbert.
George Hill made five 3-pointers en route to 17 points for the Pacers, who lost Game 2 by a 105-79 margin on Tuesday. Paul George tallied 14 points, eight assists and five steals, while David West had 11 points and 12 boards.
Indiana, which went 10-of-33 from beyond the arc, will head into Game 4 on Tuesday with a 2-1 series lead.
Carmelo Anthony ended with 21 points for the Knicks, who saw Amare Stoudemire return to the lineup. Stoudemire, who had been sidelined for over two months due to right knee surgery, tallied seven points in nine minutes of action.
J.R. Smith, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year in the NBA, donated nine points. His status for Saturday's game was up in the air due to an illness.
"Offensively we just didn't have anything -- either team. It was an ugly game, offensively," New York coach Mike Woodson said.
Indiana started the game on a 9-2 spurt, but New York responded with an 11-2 run. Tyson Chandler's layup with 4:20 left in the first quarter gave the Knicks a 13-11 edge, which proved to be their only lead of the game.
Hill's 3-pointer, Hibbert's hook shot and Tyler Hansbrough's short jumper had the Pacers in front by five, 18-13. Anthony's jumper with 20.1 seconds remaining got New York within three after 12 minutes of action.
Holding a 24-22 lead midway through the second quarter, Indiana went on an 8-0 run to create some distance. West capped the spurt with a jumper to make it 32-22.
The Knicks kept it close by responding with an 11-4 run to end the half. Kenyon Martin's layup with 2.9 seconds to go cut the gap to 36-33.
The Pacers finally pulled away in the latter stages of the third stanza. Ahead by five, 49-44, with 6:16 remaining, Indiana ripped off nine straight points. Hibbert bookended the surge with a tip-in and two free throws to make it 58-44.
Stoudemire made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to get the Knicks within nine, 62-53, heading to the fourth.
Raymond Felton's three-point play and Anthony's free throw got New York within eight, 65-57, with 9:10 to play. The Pacers, however, responded with a 7-0 spurt to essentially put the game away.
Each team shot 35 percent from the field ... New York went 3-of-11 from beyond the arc ... Chandler had nine points for the Knicks ... The Pacers turned the ball over 17 times, leading to 20 New York points.