The New York Knicks looked to continue their strong start to 2014, but they had to visit the Indiana Pacers who had lost only once at home this season. That home mark got even better after the Pacers abused New York for a 117-89 victory.
Lance Stephenson led all Pacers (31-7) with a career-high 28 points. Paul George scored 25, and Indy had the game in hand by midway through the third quarter.
Carmelo Anthony scored 28, but fellow starters Iman Shumpert and Andrea Bargnani combined for just eight points. Tyson Chandler looked good in his second game back from bronchitis with 13 points nine boards and a block.
The Knicks (15-24) and Pacers had a shootout in the first quarter, with Carmelo scoring 18 which included a buzzer-beating three as the Knicks took a 31-30 lead. But the Pacers clamped down on defense in the second quarter and limited the Knicks to just 17 points, largely because they limited Anthony to just two of those.
The Pacers led by double figures throughout the second half and New York never threatened.
The Knicks return to Madison Square Garden for an incredible eight-game homestand that runs through Feb. 1. They will try to get healthy during that stretch, both in terms of injury and record, but they begin on Friday night with the Los Angeles Clippers to finish up this back-to-back. They also have just a 7-12 record at home.
The Pacers host the Clippers next as well, but that's on Saturday Jan. 18. Then they'll embark on a tough five-game road tour.