Before the Pacers traveled to New York on Sunday, they had a six-game losing streak. After playing Amar'e and Carmelo twice, they now have a two-game winning streak.
The Pacers handed the Knicks another loss on Tuesday night, this time in front of the home crowd. The fans were happy to see them after their big win on Sunday, and even more thrilled to see Danny Granger hit the game-winning shot.
Carmelo Anthony made a lay-up on a drive against Granger with 7.8 seconds left, which tied the game. It was Granger's turn after that, as he drove against former Pacer Shawne Williams. His mid-range jumper fell through the net with just 0.3 seconds remaining in the game. The Pacers won, 119-117.
While Danny had the game-winner tonight, he was certainly sharing the spotlight tonight with a couple other guys. Tyler Hansbrough had a career-high 30 points, after scoring 29 on the same Knicks team just two days earlier. Darren Collison was also very effective, scoring 24 points and dishing out nine assists.
Roy Hibbert finally seemed to get things together, posting another double-double tonight with 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue and Gold. He also had five assists and three blocks on the night.
Carmelo and Amar'e combined for 50 points for New York, but the "Big Three" for the Pacers combined for 80 for Indiana, as they shot over 52 percent for the game. The Knicks made more three-pointers than the Pacers attempted, but they also shot 27 of them during the game.
There really wasn't a lot of defense in this game, to the surprise of no one. The 236 combined points were coming early and often. Shots were flying so quickly that Jeff Foster managed to grab 10 rebounds in just 16 minutes of play.
After the Pacers got the big win in New York on Sunday without Granger, many people were wondering if this team was better off without Granger in the lineup. His poor shot choices have hurt the team this year, and his numbers are all at a career-low this season. I had my doubts, but in the end, Danny knows that he belongs on this team, and even though he may not be the vocal leader that everyone wants him to be, he can still lead with his play, just as he did tonight.
Guys like Hansbrough, Collison and Hibbert can feed off of each other, and when Granger is hitting his shots, it will make things much easier for everyone. He may take too many shots during a game, but he has the green light from the coaching staff for a reason. He isn't going to get out of his slump by just not playing.
The Knicks are now just 6-7 since acquiring Carmelo Anthony, and it appears they have a long way to go before they can truly contend for a title in the East.
The Pacers improve their record to 29-38 as they are in the middle of a tough stretch of games. The two wins against the Knicks couldn't come at a better time, as they are in a tight battle with both Charlotte and Milwaukee for the final playoff spot in the East. Unfortunately for the Pacers, they will travel to Boston for a game against the Celtics tomorrow night.
Tomorrow night's game will tip-off at 7:30 p.m., then they will return home for a game against the red hot Bulls before going on a three-game road trip.
The Pacers are now a half game ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats for the eighth playoff seed in the East, and own the tie-breaker between the two teams.