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Porzingis Fuels New York Rally as Knicks Hand Pacers Tough Loss

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Different game, same story for the Indiana Pacers (5-5) at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 40 points, as the New York Knicks (5-4) erased a 16-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Pacers by a final score of 108-101. The Garden has haunted Indiana lately, as this was Indy’s third straight loss versus the Knicks in NYC in which they held a lead in the final period and then lost.

The first quarter of Sunday’s matchup was relatively even until the end, with Indiana holding a 33-25 advantage after a 12-4 run closed the period. Myles Turner made his first start since opening night, but made his way to the bench earlier than expected with a pair of quick fouls.

Indy extended their lead with a solid second quarter. The Pacers outscored the Knicks 29-24, taking a 62-49 lead into halftime. Domantas Sabonis led the charge for Indiana in the first half, scoring 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting.

In the third quarter, the Pacers grew their lead to 19 points before New York’s top player made his presence felt. Porzingis scored the final seven points of the period, trimming the Knicks’ deficit down to 84-72 after 36 minutes of play. It was just the beginning for Porzingis and the Knicks.

Porzingis remained hot in the fourth, scoring New York’s first eight points of the quarter, as the Knicks continued to rally. Back-to-back Thaddeus Young three pointers allowed the Pacers to take a 16-point lead with 10:02 to go, but New York was not bothered.

Down 90-74, the Knicks went off on a 23-6 run to grab their first lead since the opening quarter. Porzingis was in the middle of it all, including the and-one that put the home team in front.

Darren Collison drilled a three-point shot to give Indy the lead back at 99-97, but it was gone quickly as Porzingis scored to tie it and Frank Ntilikina knocked down a three to shoot New York ahead 102-99. Each side traded baskets, and the Pacers had a chance to get the ball back down just three late with a stop, but Turner fouled Lance Thomas with 11 seconds remaining. Thomas sank both free throws and the rest was history, as the Knicks prevailed with a come-from-behind 108-101 victory.

Young led the Pacers in scoring on Sunday, recording 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting (4-for-4 from downtown). Victor Oladipo added 17, while Sabonis chipped in 16 from off of the bench. Collison turned in a double-double, scoring 15 points and dishing out 10 assists.

Indiana will be back in action on Tuesday with a 7:00 p.m. game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

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