INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Marcus Morris provided the boost down the stretch that New York needed to finish.
Morris scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, including 10 of the Knicks’ final 12, in a 92-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
“We stayed together throughout the entire game,” Morris said. “We defended really well and beat a good team. We stuck to the game plan. I think we all played well. It’s just a good win for us. From start to finish we played really well.”
Julius Randle had 16 points and a season-best 18 rebounds, and Taj Gibson added 10 points and seven rebounds to lead the Knicks (14-36). They snapped a two-game skid and won in the series after losing seven straight, including four losses on the road.
New York last won at Indiana 109-103 on Jan. 23, 2017.
Domantas Sabonis had 25 points and eight rebounds. Myles Turner had 12 points and six rebounds after missing the last two games with an illness, and Jeremy Lamb added nine points for the Pacers (31-18), who have lost two of three games.
After Sabonis made a free throw to tie the game at 80 with 6:11 remaining, New York scored eight straight to go ahead 88-80 after Morris’ jumper with 1:54 to go.
The Pacers trailed for most of the game until Turner made a 3-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter to put Indiana ahead for the first time, 74-72. New York then scored three straight baskets to take the lead again.
“I thought we were flat the entire game,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “The first quarter we had some open looks that we didn’t knock down. We just needed to challenge ourselves and get ourselves into the game defensively. It just seems like we were flat throughout this game. You’re not going to beat teams scoring 11 points in the first.”
The Knicks put together a 9-0 run in the first quarter and jumped out to a 23-11 lead by the end of the opening period. They went on a 9-2 run in the second to extend the early lead. Kevin Knox II made a layup at the end of a 7-0 run in the second quarter to put New York ahead 33-16 with 9:06 to play in the first half.
“I thought we did a good job starting out and setting the tone,” Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said. “We did a good job on their shooters. Great effort. We had contributions from so many different people.”
Knicks: New York played without point guard Elfrid Payton, who was suspended one game by the NBA for shoving Jae Crowder of Memphis while he was attempting a shot Wednesday. … New York outrebounded the Pacers 57-34. … The Knicks finished 17 of 23 on free throws.
Pacers: Indiana was 0 for 8 on 3-pointers in the first half. … Victor Oladipo scored seven points on 2-of-14 shooting in his second game back.
The Pacers finally got everyone back in the lineup with no injuries keeping players out. The healthy streak didn’t last long. T.J. Warren went down twice holding his head following a play. He left the game for good, going to the locker room with 5:12 remaining in the third quarter after apparently hitting his head on the floor. McMillan said Warren was being evaluated at a local hospital. Warren finished with five points.
Knicks: At Cleveland on Monday.
Pacers: Host Dallas on Monday.
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