INDIANAPOLIS – On the opening night of a six-game homestand, the Indiana Pacers (13-11) made a pretty big statement.
With starters Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. out with injuries, Indy made quick work of the New York Knicks (11-12). The Blue and Gold led by as many as 38 points, cruising to a 115-97 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Monday’s game was never close and Indiana never trailed.
The Pacers came out firing in the first quarter, scoring 31 points to claim a 12-point advantage after one. In the second quarter, Indy kept the foot on the gas. The home team outscored New York 35-21 in the second, piling up a massive 26-point edge going into the half.
The Pacers already had absolute control of this one going into the second half, but a 12-0 to start the third quarter completely crushed the Knicks’ spirit. Down by a game-high 38 points, New York head coach Jeff Hornacek subbed in five new players and rolled with his bench for most of the rest of the night.
With the result of Monday’s clash decided, the fourth quarter was ruled by bench players. This allowed the Knicks to outscore the Pacers 32-20 in the final period and make the final score a bit more respectable, but there is no question Indiana dominated the night.
Balance was the name of the game yet again for the Pacers. All five starters scored in double-figures, led by Thaddeus Young‘s 20 points. Domantas Sabonis and Cory Joseph also chipped in more than ten points, each scoring 12.
Indiana, who wants to play fast, burned the Knicks in fast break points at a 31-5 clip.
Next up for the Blue and Gold on this homestand is the three-win Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. Tip from the Circle City is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.