“I was totally impressed because we met the challenge,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “You come into games like this and you want to see who’s going to step up and make plays, and we did that tonight. We were the better team in terms of doing that.”
Anthony, who did not make a basket in the fourth quarter of either game in Indiana, made a jumper midway through the fourth after Indiana closed within four points. He followed with two free throws, Raymond Felton made a layup, and the Knicks were never in jeopardy again.
Paul George had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Pacers. They played without point guard George Hill because of a concussion and committed 19 turnovers.
“We’ve just got to play more solid. There’s no other way to put it,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
David West had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who were trying to reach the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2004.
The winner will face the defending NBA champion Miami Heat in a series that will start on Wednesday.
New York did not really shake their scoring slump, shooting only 41 percent from the field, but put together a few runs during the game to open just enough space against a Pacers team that shot 36 percent and was a dismal 19 of 33 at the free throw line.
They clearly missed Hill after learning about four hours before the game they would be without him.
Vogel said Hill was hurt after a collision with Knicks center Tyson Chandler during Indiana’s victory on Tuesday. Hill finished the game, but experienced some headaches and showed concussion symptoms since and was not able to pass the league’s concussion tests.
The Knicks went back to their regular lineup, reinserting Pablo Prigioni, after going with a bigger group in Game 4 in a futile effort to match Indiana on the boards. The smaller group did a better job, getting outrebounded only 43-40.