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Pacers rout Knicks 93-82 to take 3-1 series lead

Wednesday - 5/15/2013, 5:08pm  ET

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, and Indiana Pacers' Paul George vie for a rebound during the first half of Game 4 of an Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series, on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

CLIFF BRUNT
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony tried to keep the New York Knicks in the game, even as his teammates missed shots all around him.

Once Anthony stopped making them, the Indiana Pacers had pushed the Knicks to the brink of elimination.

Anthony missed all four of his field goals in the fourth quarter and fouled out. Paul George had six points, four rebounds and two assists in the period, helping the Pacers handle the Knicks 93-82 on Tuesday night.

The Pacers took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and would advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2004 with a win Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Anthony scored 24 points, but finished just 9 of 23 from the field. Pacers coach Frank Vogel said it's a team effort to check the NBA's leading scorer, though George, who was voted to the NBA's All-Defensive second team this week, deserves credit.

"I'm not really sure how we're doing it other than trying our best," Vogel said. "Guys are giving great effort. Roy (Hibbert) and Ian (Mahinmi) are giving great protection at the rim, and Paul George is working his tail off to do the best he can to try to limit him."

To blame Anthony entirely for New York's offensive failures, though, would miss the point. Knicks not named Carmelo shot a combined 22 for 64 from the field Tuesday. Two starters - Kenyon Martin and Iman Shumpert - failed to score in a combined 45 minutes of play. New York had just 14 assists on 31 baskets.

"It's almost funny and kind of frustrating to keep sitting here talking about our offense and not being able to score the basketball with the weapons we have," Anthony said.

Indiana's weapons were working fine. George Hill scored 26 points, George had 18 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists and Lance Stephenson had 13 points and seven rebounds. Hibbert scored just six points, but he had 11 rebounds and three blocks and made the Knicks' drivers uncomfortable in the paint. David West added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Indiana outrebounded the Knicks 54-36 and outscored New York 23-12 from the free throw line, indicating that the Pacers were both tougher and smarter than the Knicks, two major areas of concern from Game 3. New York committed a staggering 29 fouls, and five Knicks ended the game with at least four.

It was a far cry from what Indiana experienced a week ago in New York. Or last year at home against Miami.

Last week, the Knicks rallied from a Game 1 loss, using a 30-2 run to blow out Indiana at Madison Square Garden and even the series.

A year ago, the Pacers held a 2-1 lead over Miami but gave away Game 4 and never won again. Miami went on to win the NBA crown.

So the Pacers went into Tuesday night determined not let it happen again, certainly not with former stars Reggie Miller and Rik Smits in the house watching their old team hand it to their old rivals.

Martin played 29 minutes and J.R. Smith logged 31
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