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HomeSportsBasketballKnicks try to overcome Pacers home-court streak in Game 4

Knicks try to overcome Pacers home-court streak in Game 4

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The Indiana Pacers will aim to hold serve at home and even their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the New York Knicks at two wins apiece when the teams play Game 4 in Indianapolis on Sunday.

The second-seeded Knicks outlasted the Pacers during the first two contests in New York before Indiana responded with a 111-106 victory in Game 3 at home on Friday. The sixth-seeded Pacers have won their past nine games at home dating back to the regular season.

“Whatever happens, you’ve got to wipe it clean,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “The next game is a completely new palate. You’ve just got to get ready to compete when that time comes.”

That time comes on Sunday afternoon, however there’s still plenty of smoke following Friday’s fireworks.

While Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton and Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo scored 35 points apiece for their respective teams, it was Andrew Nembhard who made his presence felt at the end. The second-year guard rebounded after missing his first six shots by making his final two, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer during the latter stages of the fourth quarter.

“When I got the ball, I didn’t realize what the time was (on the shot clock),” Nembhard said. “(Haliburton) said something and there was like two seconds on the clock, so I knew I just had to get something off. I just tried to create a little bit of space and put it up.”

Nembhard sank just 1 of 7 shots before he made the most of a broken play and connected on his late-game heave to send the crowd into a frenzy.

“I put Drew in kind of a bad situation,” Haliburton said. “He made an unbelievable shot. Big, big shot. He really stepped up to the moment when we needed it the most.”

After the game, Haliburton admitted to nursing a bevy of injuries — namely a sore back and a rolled ankle.

The Knicks don’t want to hear about another team’s injuries — they have plenty of their own. Star Jalen Brunson appeared a bit slowed but still finished with 26 points on Friday while nursing a right foot injury.

“If I’m in there, if I’m playing, then there are no excuses. If I can walk, I can play,” said Brunson, who has been removed from the NBA’s injury report.

OG Anunoby sat out Game 3 with a strained hamstring and has been ruled out for Game 4.

The Knicks already are without All-Star Julius Randle (right shoulder), fellow forward Bojan Bogdanovic (left foot) and center Mitchell Robinson (left ankle) for the remainder of the postseason.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau also kept it close to the vest when asked about the officiating during the latter stages of Game 3 on Friday, perhaps mindful that Carlisle was fined $35,000 by the NBA for his comments after Game 2.

“From my vantage point, those calls could’ve gone our way,” Thibodeau said. “But I’m not going to comment until I look at the film. We just have to find a way to win. That’s the bottom line.”

–Field Level Media

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