Indiana Pacers dominate Game 4 to even up series with New York Knicks

The Pacers evened the series on Sunday
May 12, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) shoots the ball against the New York Knicks.
May 12, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) shoots the ball against the New York Knicks. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks dueled once again on Sunday afternoon, this time for Game 4 of their second-round playoff series. All of the first four meetings in the series have been in the last week — these teams know each other well.

Indiana trailed in the series 1-2 entering the game but had not lost a home battle since March 18. They've been playing well in Indianapolis and had a chance to tie the series that they hoped to take advantage of. With the Knicks banged up, it was a big opportunity.

To get things going, the Knicks scored first. It was all Pacers for the next few minutes. Tyrese Haliburton found space for a few outside shots, Indiana hit the glass hard and played good defense, and the crowd was lively. Indiana led 10-4 with 7:31 to go in the first period as the Knicks took a timeout. Haliburton already had six points and four rebounds.

Indiana's defense continued to thrive for the opening stretch, and they were punishing New York mistakes on the offensive end. It was 19-6 in favor of the Pacers after about eight minutes of play — the hosts were rolling, and it was maybe their best defensive stretch of the postseason.

Things got out of hand. Throughout the first three games of this series, the biggest lead for either roster was 12 points. It took the Pacers less than 10 minutes to take a 20-point lead, and they were up 23 with 1:27 to go in the first frame. The Knicks took a timeout to regroup. They needed it.

It didn't change much. The Pacers led 34-14 after one frame. They dominated both ends of the floor and were shooting nearly 35% better from the field. New York's offense was stuck in the mud while Indiana got whatever shot they wanted early.

To get the second period going, Indiana kept rolling. Their lead slightly increased over the next few minutes to 40-19, and the Knicks needed yet another timeout. They couldn't keep up and looked frustrated.

Nothing changed for them in the next few minutes. They couldn't keep up. Andrew Nembhard was making one-handed passes, and the rest of the Pacers were raining in threes. With 4:30 to go in the first half, the blue and gold were doubling up the Knicks at 55-27.

That edge remained for the final stretch, and Indiana led by as much as 30 in the second quarter. At the break, their edge was 69-41. Haliburton led the way with 13 points at the break, but the blue and gold had five players in double figures. A balanced attack was making it happen.

To get the third frame going, the Pacers kept pushing. The Knicks changed their lineup to get some speed on the court, but it didn't help much. Indiana led by 30 again in just a few minutes even as New York called another timeout.

The Knicks just couldn't find any answers. They were too thin to make a run, and they looked exhausted. It took a ton of effort for the visitors to generate a good shot, yet it was comically easy for the hosts to do so.

The third quarter ended with Indiana ahead 101-63. Their 38-point lead perfectly summarized how easy the game was for them. Haliburton's 20 points led the way at the time, but it was a team effort for the Pacers.

The only question left for both teams was how much playing time either team's starters would get the rest of the way. The result was decided. Both groups were looking ahead to Game 5.

Indiana's reach reached 40, then 42, then 43 early in the final frame. They had cleared the bench yet were still crushing the Knicks. The blue and gold never felt resistance in this game, and they were going to coast to a win.

The crowd in Gainbridge Fieldhouse was still cheering in the fourth quarter as former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee pumped them up. They chanted their request for veteran forward James Johnson to enter the game. Pacers fans stay engaged in the action down the stretch despite the result not being in doubt.

It was 119-87 in favor of the blue and gold with 2:11 to go. Deep reserves were on the floor for both teams. No Pacers starter reached 30 minutes of play in the game, and only two Knicks players did. Both teams reset down the stretch.

In the end, the final score was 121-89 in favor of the Pacers. They knotted the series up at 2-2 and guaranteed themselves another home game in the series. By protecting home court, they turned the series into a best-of-three.

Haliburton finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and five assists. T.J. McConnell had 15 points and 10 assists. Indiana was terrific on both ends for the competitive portion of the game.

Game 5 is on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

  • Tyrese Haliburton delivers on his promise to lead Indiana Pacers past New York Knicks in Game 3. CLICK HERE.
  • The Indiana Pacers were hit hard with the New York Knicks style to start the series. They need to hit back. CLICK HERE.
  • Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard hits game-winning shot vs New York Knicks by always looking ahead. CLICK HERE.
  • Indiana Pacers survive a tight fourth quarter to take down the New York Knicks in Game 3. CLICK HERE.
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Tony East


Tony East is the Publisher of AllPacers. He has previously written for Forbes Sports, the West Indianapolis Community News, WTHR, and more while hosting the Locked On Pacers podcast.