They used to say that a series does not start until a team wins on the road.

Well, the Knicks and Pacers are taking their own path.

Coming into game six, each team had won all their games at home, and their road splits were vastly different. After winning by 30 in Indiana, the Pacers were blown out by a similar margin a game later and faced elimination coming into Friday night. The pendulum swung back in their favor as they ran the Knicks out of the building. Pascal Siakam dropped 20 first-half points and finished the day shooting 11-21. The Pacers shot over 50% as a team, and their consistent offense led to another double-digit margin of victory. Defensively, they looked completely different than their experiences on the road as their on-ball pressure forced Jalen Brunson to miss 11 straight shots heading into halftime. Indiana out-assisted the Knicks 35-20 as the New York offense fell apart after the first quarter.

The Knicks started strong and kept pace with the Pacers after swishing five threes in the opening 12 minutes as Miles McBride, a new lineup mainstay with all the New York injuries, and Donte DiVincenzo combined for all of them. Those two finished the game shooting 7-14 between them from long range; the rest of the Knick roster shot 6-20. The lack of consistent offense undid the Knicks in the second quarter as Indiana went on a 10-0 from 4:04 until the last possession of the half. Myles Turner and Siakam combined for eight of the ten points as the Knick’s limited size upfront because of their injuries became a factor down the stretch.

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DiVincenzo knocked down a corner jumper with two seconds on the clock to end the half as they cut the Indiana lead to ten. The shot ignited New York out of the locker room as they raced out to a 5-0 run after just 38 seconds of game action.

Whatever Indiana Head Coach Rick Carlisle said to his team ignited the group after the early timeout. Andrew Nembhard and Tyrese Haliburton hit back-to-back threes before Turner knocked down a lay-up inside. Later in the quarter, the Pacers’ offense stayed hot, scoring six straight points to push their advantage to 15. Indiana led 88-75 at the end of three and put the finishing touches on a game-six victory in the fourth. They scored on five of their first six possessions, and a Ben Sheppard three gave them the largest lead of the night at 23. The Knicks made a late run, but it was too late as Indiana forced a game seven with a score of 116-103. The Pacers must bottle up whatever is in their water to take the series on the road. Indiana has looked like two different teams depending on whose logo is painted at half-court, but with the Knicks injuries adding up, they should be the fresher side.

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