The Knicks led by as many as 17 points in the first half, and they held on the beat the Indiana Pacers 92-85. >> Box Score
Five things to know from Saturday's game
1) The Knicks came out of the gates playing stifling defense against the Pacers, holding Indiana to a dismal 21.7 percent shooting from the floor in the first 12 minutes. As a result, the Knicks jumped out to a 24-11 lead after one. The Pacers' shooting improved to 38.5 percent by the end of the first half, but the Knicks maintained an 11-point lead at the break.
In the second half, the Pacers chipped away at that Knicks' lead, cutting it to two points at 65-63 with a little over three minutes remaining. The Knicks led wire-to-wire through the first three quarters, but that lead was cut to one point entering the fourth. In the first minute of the final quarter, Myles Turner hit a three to give the Pacers their first lead of the game. But the Knicks fought back, and held a six-point lead with three minutes to go. Thanks to a clutch late-game effort by Marcus Morris, the Knicks were able to hold on. For the game, Indiana shot just 42.1 percent.
2) With Elfrid Payton serving his one-game suspension, the Knicks started Dennis Smith Jr. at point guard. But again, Smith Jr. struggled, going 2-for-9 from the floor with six points and six assists. Frank Ntilikina (sore groin) was not able play, giving Kadeem Allen a chance to go. Allen responded by scoring six points in 20 minutes.
3) Marcus Morris once again led the Knicks in scoring, notching 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting. In the final minute of the game, though, Morris committed a silly foul on Domantis Sabonis to help the keep the Pacers in the game, but the good outweighed the bad for Morris, as he quickly redeemed himself with a foul-line jumper to help ice the game.
4) Late in the third quarter, Julius Randle came down in the lane a bit awkwardly on his left ankle, but he stayed in the game. Randle had a terrific game on the glass, pulling in a season-best 18 rebounds, while also scoring 16 points and adding three assists.
5) Offensively, the Pacers were led by Sabonis, who scored 25 points. Besides Sabonis, only Myles Turner scored in double figures for the Pacers, as he had 12 points and six rebounds.
Steal ✅- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 2, 2020
Transition 3 ✅ pic.twitter.com/mqZJpLhty3
THERE HE GOES pic.twitter.com/g0Je2IOHdq- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 2, 2020
DSJ stops, pops & sinks it pic.twitter.com/R3fVmpaJQh- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 2, 2020
The Knicks will stay on the road for a matchup with Cavaliers in Cleveland on Monday night. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM.