INDIANAPOLIS – The Pacers looked ready for the playoffs. The New York Knicks looked like they wanted a longer All-Star break.
Paul George scored 27 points and the Pacers powered their way closer to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the Knicks 125-91 on Wednesday night.
We were focused, since day one coming back, George said. I think we really showed it tonight.
David West had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Lance Stephenson added 14 points for Indiana (33-21), which pulled within a half-game of the Knicks for second place in the East.
The Pacers shot 53 percent from the field, scored a season-high point total and had a season-best 28 assists against the Atlantic Division leaders. It was Indiana’s largest margin of victory this season and New York’s worst loss.
We didn’t show up, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. They whipped our (expletive) from beginning to end. It was nothing pretty about tonight’s game. It’s unacceptable. I mean, we didn’t compete. That’s on all of us.
Tyson Chandler led New York (32-19) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony, the league’s No. 2 scorer, finished with 15 points on 7-for-21 shooting.
George, fresh off a strong performance in his first All-Star Game appearance, made 11 of 19 shots, grabbed eight rebounds and played solid defense against Anthony.
Because of the blowout, Pacers coach Frank Vogel tried to downplay it afterward.
We have to understand it’s just one win, Vogel said. The Knicks didn’t have it tonight. Every team in the league has nights like this.
Anthony appeared to be trying to send George a message early in the game, using his strength to overpower the more slender George near the basket. But George remained calm, played his game and made it his night.
ROCKETS 122, THUNDER 119: In Houston, James Harden scored a career-high 46 points and Jeremy Lin added 29 as Houston mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback to get the victory.
Houston was down by 14 points with about seven minutes left. The Rockets used a 21-4 run to erase the deficit and take a 114-111 lead with 1:46 remaining.
PISTONS 105, BOBCATS 99: In Charlotte, N.C., Greg Monroe scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, stepping up with Brandon Knight on the bench nursing a hyperextended right knee, to lead Detroit.
Knight had 21 points before injuring his knee late in the third. Jose Calderon had 17 points for Detroit.
GRIZZLIES 88, RAPTORS 82: In Toronto, Zach Randolph had 17 points and 18 rebounds, Mike Conley scored 17 points and Memphis won its fifth straight. Toronto’s Rudy Gay came up short against his former team as the Raptors’ five-game winning streak ended.
HEAT 103, HAWKS 90: In Atlanta, Miami scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter to erase Atlanta’s 10-point lead and the Heat, led by LeBron James’ 24 points, extended their season-best winning streak to eight.
Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and Shane Battier had 17 for Miami.
TIMBERWOLVES 94, 76ERS 87: In Minneapolis, Nikola Pekovic had 27 points and tied a career high with 18 rebounds to power Minnesota.
CAVALIERS 105, HORNETS 100: In Cleveland, Kyrie Irving scored 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter to lead Cleveland.
NETS 97, BUCKS 94: In Milwaukee, Deron Williams scored 23 points and Brooklyn escaped with a victory after Monta Ellis missed on a chance to tie the game with three foul shots in the final seconds.
MAVERICKS 111, MAGIC 96: In Dallas, Shawn Marion and Elton Brand scored 17 apiece, Vince Carter again provided a spark off the bench for Dallas.