With a 106-99 Game 6 win, the Indiana Pacers eliminated the New York Knicks from the postseason and clinched the last spot in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Frank Vogel got a balanced offensive effort from his team, but Lance Stephenson was undoubtedly the superstar of the night.
After making some monumental plays down the stretch to propel the Pacers to the home win, the third-year guard out of Cincinnati poured in a career-high 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go with 10 rebounds, three assists and a steal.
In the loss, Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 39 points and seven rebounds.
Fueled by Stephenson's 16 first-half points, the Pacers entered the locker room up by eight points and seemingly en route to a dominant, series-clinching win.
But the third quarter belonged to Iman Shumpert and the Knicks. With New York down 10, Shumpert drilled three-straight treys and immediately injected some fire back into his team:
He would go on to score five more points—including his fifth three of the game—in the quarter, and we headed to the final period locked at 81.
With the Knicks up 92-90 with with five minutes left, Roy Hibbert came through with this game-changing block (via Bleacher Report):
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Roy Hibbert's HUGE block on Carmelo Anthony at the rim #beast http://t.co/SnjHRfWVkC5/19/2013, 2:28:41 AM
Then the Stephenson Show started up again:
Mike Wells @MikeWellsNFL
Lance Stephenson has taken over this game. Yes, Born Ready is killing the Knicks.5/19/2013, 2:38:14 AM
The young guard got to the rim at will during the next few possessions and scored the game's next seven points to put the Pacers up 97-92 with just under three minutes left.
Anthony and J.R. Smith kept the Knicks close, but the Pacers were able to knock down their free throws in the waning seconds to close out the series.
Indiana will now take on the Miami Heat for a trip to the NBA Finals, while the Knicks officially begin their offseason, where they will attempt to find creative ways to improve with very little salary coming off the books.
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