The Knicks got back Chauncey BIllups and were taking on a team that was eleven games under .500, had lost six in a row, and was missing its best player. So what would they do? On a night where the Knicks put forth one of their worst efforts of the season, the shorthanded Indiana Pacers walked out of Madison Square Garden with a 13 point victory, knocking off the Knicks 106-93. The Knicks fell to 34-31 while the Pacers improved to 28-38.
As mentioned earlier, the Knicks got back Billups, who had missed the past six games with a thigh injury. But Billups appeared rusty, scoring just nine points on 4-of-14 shooting, and only dished out four assists. As a team, the Knicks registered just 11 assists on the night. Amare Stoudemire scored 28 points, and Carmelo Anthony scored 25, but Anthony was a -19 on the night. The Knicks made just 36 percent of their field goals, a horrendously low number.
Meanwhile, the Pacers scored at will, hitting 57 percent of their field goal attempts. On Selection Sunday, it was appropriate that one of the best college basketball players of the past decade would have a career night, as Tyler Hansbrough scored 29 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Another college superstar, Dahntay Jones, scored 18 points in while leading scorer Danny Granger was sidelined with the flu.
The good news for the Knicks is that they get a chance to erase this win, as the two teams will meet in a rematch on Tuesday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.