Knicks down Pacers, avoid elimination

Carmelo Anthony showed early in Game 5 the Knicks weren't going down without a fight.

Anthony set the tone with a hard foul in the opening minute and went on to pace New York with a game-high 28 points as the Knicks stayed alive in the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 85-75 wire-to-wire victory over the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden.

Following consecutive 11-point losses at Bankers Life Fieldhouse that saw them shoot 35 percent from the floor, the Knicks connected on 41 percent of their shots Thursday to pull within 3-2 in the series.

J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland stepped up with 13 points apiece off the New York bench, while Raymond Felton added 12 for New York, which forced 19 turnovers, including seven in the fourth quarter.

"We just came together as a team tonight," said Anthony. "At the end of the day, we all believe and have confidence in ourselves. But we'll just take it one day at a time."

Paul George scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half while David West checked in with 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who were trying to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 2004.

They get another chance when the series shifts back to Indianapolis for Game 6 on Saturday, where they are 4-0 against the Knicks this season.

Indiana's George Hill, who had averaged 17.3 points per game over the first four games of the series, was sidelined due to a concussion he suffered Tuesday. D.J. Augustin got the starting nod at point guard in his place and scored 12 points on 3-of-9 shooting.

Anthony only shot 12-of-28 from the floor but did something he hadn't in the previous two games -- make a field goal in the fourth quarter.

The closest the cold-shooting Pacers got in the final stanza was four, 75-71, when George drained a 3-pointer with 6:42 remaining. Anthony answered with a 17-footer to start a 6-0 run, then, after Gerald Green hit a jumper, the league's leading scorer swished a drop-step fadeaway over George for an 83-73 Knicks cushion with just over three minutes to play.

Three consecutive turnovers in the final two minutes essentially sealed the Pacers' fate.

"We had a couple of possessions where we didn't take care of the ball. That's what we struggle with, especially on the road," George said of the turnovers. "It's our Achilles heel."

In the game's opening minute, Anthony sent a driving Augustin to the hardwood with a stiff technical foul that defined the hard-fought series.

New York connected on its first three shots to jump out to a 7-0 lead, and Anthony capped his nine-point opening quarter with a late jumper to give the Knicks a 19-15 advantage.

It was a two-possession game most of the second frame, but the Pacers never got over the hump and went into the break trailing, 40-34, after shooting 29 percent from the field and 8-of-16 from the foul line in the first half.

Both teams began finding their stroke in the third, with the Knicks extending their lead behind a 12-4 run midway through. Copeland's putback of a third straight offensive rebound finished off the spurt and gave New York its biggest lead at 59-48 with 4:28 to go before the fourth.

It was a 67-57 game in favor the Knicks after three quarters of play.

Game Notes

The Pacers, who held a 107-76 rebounding edge in the previous two games, owned a slim 43-40 edge on the glass ... Indiana had 24 second-chance points to the Knicks' nine ... Roy Hibbert was limited to nine points and seven rebounds for the Pacers ... Indiana shot 19-of-33 at the foul line ... New York's Amar'e Stoudemire played 6 1/2 minutes and scored two points, both from the foul line ... Knicks center Tyson Chandler fell directly on his back after getting blocked at the rim by Hibbert in the closing minutes but stayed in the game ... Knicks guard Jason Kidd missed his only field goal attempt and remains scoreless in the series ... In the five previous seven-game playoff series between these rivals, the team that has led 3-1 has gone on to win the series.