Stephenson was in attack mode from the very beginning, as he relentlessly attacked the basket. He shot 9-13 on the night, and it was his aggressiveness that truly gave Indiana the edge. He took only three shots outside of the paint, all 3-point attempts and all misses. However, when Lance got to the basket, he converted and was 9-10 in the paint.
After the game, all five Indiana starters went to the podium to speak to the media, which is a rare sight. Despite Stephenson’s big game, it was truly a team effort that allowed the Pacers to close out the series. All starters scored in double-digits, while Paul George and Roy Hibbert both scored over 20 points.
The New York Knicks made a terrific run to come back into the game, led by Iman Shumpert’s hot streak from beyond the arc, but it was ultimately not enough. Only three Knicks scored in double-digits. Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 39 points, while Shumpert and J.R. Smith added 19 and 15 each.
Now the Pacers will be taking on the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The defending NBA champions played Indiana in last year’s playoffs. The Pacers got off to a 2-1 lead in the series, but couldn’t manage to hold onto the lead and were eventually eliminated in game 6. Both teams are stronger this season, and it should be an extremely competitive series.
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