Indiana Pacers force Game 7 with dominant win over New York Knicks

Pascal Siakam had 25 points and seven rebounds, Myles Turner added 17 points and eight rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers turned the tables on the New York Knicks on Friday night with a 116-103 victory to tie the Eastern Conference semifinals draw at 3-3.

The deciding Game 7 will be played on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Indiana came into the game determined to match New York’s intensity and physical rebounding style after a 30-point loss in Game 5. The Pacers outgained New York with a 44-37 rebound advantage and even had a small lead of 14-13 on the offensive end. after being dominated on the glass in Game 5.

Tyrese Haliburton and Andrew Nembhard each scored 15 points, with Nemhard pulling down six rebounds and dishing out six assists, as Indiana kept its perfect postseason home record intact at 6-0. Haliburton had nine assists.

Jalen Brunson again led the severely short-handed Knicks by scoring 31 points on 11-of-26 shooting after missing his final 11 shots in the first half. Deuce McBride added 20 points and Donte DiVincenzo had 17, but Josh Hart left in the fourth quarter with what the Knicks said was a stomach ache.

The Knicks have lost nine straight playoff games in Indiana, but now head back to the Garden, where they have played dramatically better.

It didn’t take long for the Pacers to show that this game would be different. They outwitted New York early, collecting loose balls and turning them into quick points as they took a 42-41 lead on Haliburton’s second three-pointer of the game. The ensuing 16-7 run helped the Pacers take a 61-48 halftime lead and they never trailed again.

Brunson rebounded in the second half to get the Knicks within 61-56 on two baskets and free throws.

But Nembhard and Haliburton answered with consecutive 3s to rebuild an 11-point margin, and the Knicks never really argued again.

It was the third game in a row decided by double figures, after the first three all had a one-point margin.

New York again played without four key players due to injuries: forwards OG Anunoby, Bojan Bogdanovic and Julius Randle, and backup center Mitchell Robinson. Only Anunoby, who injured his left hamstring in the second half of Game 2 and hasn’t played since, appears to have a chance to return on Sunday.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said Anunoby will continue to do “light work” as he tries to recover.