In a scheduling set up similar to a baseball double-header, the Pacers and the Knicks played each other twice in a row over St. Patrick’s day weekend. The Knicks got the best of both battles, winning each game by double figures. In Madison Square Garden on Friday, the Knicks beat the Pacers by 15 points. At Bankers Life Filedhouse on St. Patricks day, New York topped Indiana by 14 points.
The two losses ensure that the Pacers will lose the season series to the Knicks. Indiana has already given up season series to Eastern conference playoff contenders Orlando and Atlanta. The Pacers and the Knicks will play again on April 3rd.
The 100-115 loss on Friday night was only the second time this season that the Pacers have lost after scoring 100 points. Saturday night, in front of a St. Patrick’s day sellout crowd, Indiana lost at home for the sixth time this season. The back-to back wins by the Knicks over the Pacers seem to indicate two teams going in opposite directions towards the Eastern conference playoffs.
New York is undefeated under new head coach, Mike Woodson. Woodson is a native of Indianapolis, having attended Broadripple High School and Indiana University. The Knicks have scored over 100 points in each game of their current winning streak, but had lost six in a row previously. Jeremy Lin led the Knicks during the back-to-back victories over the Pacers, with 32 points and 11 assists total.
Indiana’s streaky season continued this weekend. The two losses to the Knicks came after two wins in a row earlier this week. The Pacers had lost four games in a row previously, after winning six in a row. Indiana is now 3-6 this March, and has lost six of their last seven games against Eastern conference playoff contenders.
Indiana head coach Frank Vogel spoke about the losses on Saturday night. “The schedule is a grind. It’s our sixth game in eight nights. The NBA season is a marathon. We got good guys. We’re a talented bunch. When we play together, we can beat anybody. We just gotta stay the course.”