Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - George Hill put up 21 points in 27 minutes to help the Indiana Pacers stay hot with a 105-82 drubbing of the New York Knicks.
Hill finished 8-of-13 from the field and the Pacers went 10-of-22 from 3-point range en route to their ninth win in 11 games, a stretch that has vaulted last season's No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference back into playoff contention.
"I'm excited about how we're playing," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "Coming into tonight's game we were 10th in the East. So we can't be complacent. We have to keep winning, that's the bottom line."
Rodney Stuckey added 17 points and C.J. Miles had 16 for an Indiana squad that never trailed in dealing the hapless Knicks a second lopsided defeat in as many days.
Coming off Tuesday's 124-86 home loss to Sacramento, New York trailed by as many as 30 in this one. Andrea Bargnani was the Knicks' lone bright spot, matching a season high with 25 points.
"They caused us some problems," Knicks head coach Derek Fisher said of Indiana. "We still have a number of guys that are trying to figure out how to be successful in this league in terms of playing against teams that are physical like this. You have to give the Pacers credit for the way they were able to get some things done out there on the defensive side tonight."
The Pacers shot 60 percent in the opening quarter and closed out the frame on an 8-2 run to build a 30-19 advantage, then finished out the first half on a tear to lead comfortably at the break.
Indiana outscored the Knicks by a 27-13 margin over the final 7 1/2 minutes of the second quarter to enter the locker room up by a commanding 65-41 count. Stuckey scored seven points during the sequence and Miles had six, and the two teamed up for 29 points on a combined 9-of-13 shooting efficiency over the initial two periods.
"A couple things we're working on are to get off to better starts and putting teams away when we get the chance. And we did a pretty good job of that tonight," Vogel said.
New York did make some headway early in the third quarter, beginning the second half on a 12-3 surge fueled by seven points from Bargnani. However, the Pacers countered with an 11-3 burst to take a 79-56 lead with four minutes to go in the stanza and were never threatened from there.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Indiana reserves Donald Sloan and Damjan Rudez pushed the differential to 94-64 just over three minutes into the fourth quarter.
The Pacers rolled even with starting center Roy Hibbert and backup point guard C.J. Watson held out of the game for rest purposes ... Including the 2013 Eastern Conference semifinals series, the Knicks have now lost nine straight to Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse ... Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13 points for New York but went 5-of-17 from the field ... The teams will square off again on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.