New York’s Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points — 16 during a 30-2 onslaught in the second half — to lead the Knicks to a 105-79 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, squaring their NBA Eastern Conference semi-final series at 1-1.
In the day’s other game, the Memphis Grizzlies used a late run to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder and also level their Western Conference series at a game apiece.
New York blew away the Pacers with a performance that resembled their hot early-season form.
“For the most part, from the start of the game and throughout the whole game, we played with a sense of urgency today,” Anthony said. “We played the way we’ve been playing as far as competing at the highest level.”
Iman Shumpert added 15 points, including a sensational follow dunk in the first half, and Raymond Felton scored 14 as the Knicks turned a close game into a blowout over the final 15 minutes.
Paul George scored 20 points for the Pacers, who had a two-point lead and momentum when coach Frank Vogel called a timeout with a little more than 3 minutes left in the third quarter.
By the time the Pacers got on the board in the final period, the Knicks had opened a 26-point advantage.
Game 3 is on Saturday in Indianapolis.
It was the first time the Knicks had scored 100 points in a playoff game since June 9, 1999, when they beat the Pacers 101-94. It was New York’s largest margin of victory in the post-season since a 109-75 rout of Detroit on April 24, 1992, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
David West scored 13 points for the Pacers, who committed 21 turnovers that led to 32 points, negating their height advantage that loomed so large in their Game 1 victory.
Memphis’ Mike Conley scored 26 points and Marc Gasol added 24 as the Grizzlies finished strongly to beat the Thunder 99-93.
Conley hit a three-pointer from the left wing with 1 minute, 58 seconds left to put the Grizzlies ahead to stay and spark a string of 10 straight points for Memphis.
He added an 18-foot jumper to stretch the lead to 94-90, then hit one of two free throws with 29.4 seconds left.
“Mike Conley is now one of the top five point guards in the league, whether anybody likes it or not,” said Tony Allen, who had two of his five steals in the final minute.
After hitting the key baskets in Game 1, Kevin Durant could not provide an answer for the Thunder. He missed his last three shots, including a pair of three-point attempts, and finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.
The Thunder caught a break when Tony Allen tipped the ball away and Conley saved it from going out of bounds, only for it to end up in Durant’s hands in the corner, but he was off-target on a three-point attempt and Oklahoma City were forced to foul.
In all, the Thunder came up empty on five straight possessions after Conley’s go-ahead three.
“After they scored, there was such little time on the clock, we were just trying to get a quick basket and it didn’t go so well for us,” Durant said.
Zach Randolph tacked on two free throws, before Allen stole the ball from Durant and provided the finishing touches with a dunk. Derek Fisher hit a three-pointer at the final buzzer for Oklahoma City.
Game 3 is on Saturday in Memphis.