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New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers - Game Three

Source: Andy Lyons / Getty

NEW YORK–The NBA’s Eastern Conference Semifinals series between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks shifts back to Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.

New York won the first two games at home. The Pacers responded with two wins at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the latest of which was a 121-89 victory on Mother’s Day.

The best of seven series is nodded up at two games apiece. When that happens in an NBA playoff series, the team that wins Game 5 goes on to win the series 85% of the time.

Pacers Head Coach Rick Carlisle says New York is a team that has a will to rise above anything critics say they can’t do. That’s why, while he enjoyed the Game 4 win, he expects the Knicks to come out with a better effort.

“Every game of the ten we’ve played in the playoffs has been markedly different in some shape or form,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle played 13 of the 14 players on his roster in Game 4. One of his reserve players, guard TJ McConnell, had 15 points and 10 assists. He also had two steals. Starting Pacer guard Tyrese Haliburton said McConnell’s importance to the team cannot be overstated.

“There’s not many people better in the NBA than him doing what he does. That’s bringing energy off the bench,” said Haliburton.

McConnell said he was also impressed with the play of Pacers center Myles Turner.

“His defensive ability when he’s at the rim is impressive. He’s an elite shot blocker and he’s been an elite shot blocker for a long time,” said McConnell.

Turner finished Game 4 with 13 points, three blocks, one steal, and made all five shots he attempted.

The Knicks could be without ex-Indiana University Hoosier OG Anunoby for a third straight game on Tuesday, as he continues recovering from a calf injury sustained during Game 2. When Anunoby plays, the Knicks are 26-5 this season, including 2-0 against the Pacers in the playoffs. Anunoby scored 28 points in the Knicks Game 2 victory.

Tipoff is at 8 pm Tuesday night. Game 6 is Friday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. If necessary, Game 7 would be back in New York.

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