“These Refs Suck! These Refs Suck!” That was the main chant heard at the Garden on Sunday as the New York Knicks played against the Indiana Pacers. The chant was due to the seemingly unnecessary calls made against the Knicks, calls that put Carmelo Anthony, J. Smith, K. Martin and T. Chandler in foul trouble early in the game.
After three quarters of play, the Pacers led 81-65. Indiana had six players already in double figures compared to just three players for the Knicks. The third quarter also ended with Knicks leading scorer, Carmelo Anthony sitting on the bench, nursing his four fouls.
That is how the Knicks started round two of the NBA Playoffs against the Pacers. They played with no urgency, almost as if their first round win against Boston was their ultimate goal. Yes, the Boston win was just two days ago, but for the first three quarters, it was apparent that the Knicks were still celebrating advancing to round two.
Carmelo started the fourth quarter playing with his four fouls and scored six quick points for the Knicks. But he quickly picked up his fifth foul with 10 minutes remaining in the game. And after a 1 for 10 performance to that point, J. Smith hit a three pointer to get the crowd back into the game.
When ,,,, foul out of the game, the Garden crowd resorted to a chant they’d been saying practically the whole game… “these refs suck!”
The quarter went by quickly. With 4:41 left in the game, Indiana led by 14. Knicks had missed their last eight shots before Smith scored a running field goal. It was the Smith and Carmelo show and the lead was down to 8 with 3 minutes remaining, but that show was short lived as the Pacers held their own and won the game with a score 102-95.
Indiana went to the free throw line 24 times making 19, and out rebounded the Knicks 42 to 30. They out played the Knicks on the offensive board also, grabbing 10 compared to the Knicks 6.
D. West led the Pacers with 20 points, followed by P. George with 19. Four other Pacer players had double digit scoring.
For the Knicks, Carmelo had 27 points, followed by Felton with 18. Three other players had double digit scoring.
Game 2 will be in New York on Tuesday, May 7th.