Knicks bullied, dominated in 125-91 loss to Pacers

Knicks guard J.R. Smith looks at the scoreboard Knicks guard J.R. Smith looks at the scoreboard as he leaves the court after being tossed out of the game following a technical foul while playing the Indiana Pacers during the second half. (Feb. 20, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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INDIANAPOLIS -- In the Knicks' first game after the All-Star break, they played as if they were still on vacation. In the last game before the trade deadline, they played like a team in need of a change.

But no Knick helped their trade value Wednesday night. In fact some probably hurt theirs in this physical game that the Pacers dominated.

The Knicks were outworked, outhustled and pushed around. They trailed by 39 points, lost their cool and the game, 125-91, at Bankers Field House.

"We didn't show up," a disgusted Mike Woodson said. "They whipped our [butt] from beginning to end. We just didn't compete. It's unacceptable. That's on all of us."

The Knicks (32-19) are just one-half game up on Indiana for the second seed in the East and 11/2 ahead of the Nets in the Atlantic Division.

Tyson Chandler scored 19 points with 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony was in foul trouble in the first half and never found a rhythm. He shot 7-for-21 and had 15 points. Amar'e Stoudemire, who started the second half, was just 1-for-5 with seven points.

Paul George scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Indiana (33-21). David West had 18 points and nine boards.

The Pacers thoroughly enjoyed beating up on the Knicks. Indiana scored 74 first-half points and led by 30 at the break. The Pacers kept shooting threes and throwing down nasty dunks in the fourth quarter as the Knicks continued to give little effort defensively. Indiana shot 53.2 percent (42-for-79).

"We're fooling ourselves if we think we're going to get somewhere playing this kind of defense," Chandler said.

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday. Woodson continues saying he doesn't expect the Knicks to do anything. But general manager Glen Grunwald could try to shake up this team that has championship hopes but hardly looks like a contender lately.

This was the Knicks' third straight loss and fourth in five games. It got away from them quickly as did their emotions.

J.R. Smith was trying to incite Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson at the end of the first half. Smith was ejected in the third quarter.

"I feel like we got into their heads and they were trying to bully us to get back into the game," Stephenson said.

Stephenson was 5-for-8 with 14 points. In the third, he stripped Anthony, went in for the dunk and glared at Smith on the Knicks' bench. Smith was inserted moments later and was charged with a foul for waving his elbow at Stephenson after a rebound. Ten seconds later, Smith was called for his second technical.

He finished 1-for-7 with five points, and said Stephenson didn't say anything that got under his skin.

"Just losing is frustrating enough," Smith said.

Knicks assistant coach Jim Todd also was jawing with Pacers head coach Frank Vogel at the end of the first half. Stoudemire was called for a technical in the second quarter. Raymond Felton earned a flagrant foul 1 for elbowing Jeff Pendergraph in the back.

"Our players have got to hold their composure and that's on me as the head coach," Woodson said. "I thought we lost our composure again. That's unacceptable."

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