Indiana vs New York : NEW YORK (AP) After walking into Madison Square Garden dressed as a superhero, Victor Oladipo had to shake off his lingering bronchitis before unleashing his powers on the New York Knicks. Domantas Sabonis was 12-for-12 shooting while matching his career high with 30 points, Oladipo scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Indiana Pacers beat the Knicks 107-101 on Wednesday night.
Oladipo, who arrived in a Black Panther costume for Halloween, has been dealing with bronchitis for about a week, and it worsened two days ago. He started off cold Wednesday, scoring five points and picking up three fouls in the first half while feeling short of breath at times.
It was all different down the stretch.
Indiana trailed 97-94 with 3:08 left before Oladipo got hot. Sabonis hit two free throws, and then Oladipo picked off Tim Hardaway Jr.’s lazy dribble and threw down a breakaway dunk for a 98-97 lead.
Indiana scored the next five points, capped by Oladipo’s 3-pointer with 1:23 left, to make it 103-97 after the star guard had hit just one of his previous seven 3s.
”Some of the shots I feel like I normally make I wasn’t making today,” Oladipo said. ”So got to find other ways to win, got other ways to impact the game.”
Hardaway led the Knicks with 37 points, and Noah Vonleh had 14 points and 10 rebounds. New York has lost six of seven since winning on opening night.
Their inability to execute several times coming out of timeouts cost them in the fourth quarter on top of the five turnovers that Indiana converted into eight points.
”Coming out of the timeout we gotta know our plays. We know how the defensive concepts are,” said Hardaway Jr., who had a career-high seven 3s.
”It is youth, it comes with that.”
After Thaddeus Young’s hook shot made it 100-97, Knicks coach David Fizdale gathered his group with 1:55 remaining.
New York’s youthfulness caught up as some of the players weren’t aware where they needed to be before Hardaway misfired on a 3-point attempt which led to a 3 from Oladipo to put Indiana up by six.
Alonzo Trier’s basket cut New York’s deficit to 103-101 with 44 seconds left. Indiana called a timeout and almost gave New York the ball back when Bogdan Bogdanovic missed an open 3, but Young recovered the offensive rebound and found Oladipo open in front of the Knicks bench for a 3-pointer.
”Thad stayed alert, got the ball to Victor, and Victor found a rhythm that second half,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.
”Nothing was falling for him early but he stayed with it and made some big shots going down the stretch.”
Young had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.