PACERS 107, KNICKS 101
NEW YORK — 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.
New York native and former Knicks player Kyle O'Quinn got a nice hand from the Madison Square Garden crowd when he entered late in the second quarter. O'Quinn signed a one-year deal with Indiana after opting out of the final year of his contract in New York.
His decision landed him $4.5 million, a $200,000 raise.
"You talk to your agent, you talk to your family, but you have to make it," O'Quinn said before the nationally televised game. "It's the biggest decision I've ever made as far as making a choice in my career. I slept on it, prayed on it. It's no secret I would've loved to play for (new Knicks coach David) Fizdale or be here."
Pacers: Sabonis also had nine rebounds to go along with his career scoring night. . Bogdanovic had 10 points.
Knicks: Damyean Dotson picked up his 10th straight game with at least 10 points. He finished with 13 over 32 minutes. . Hardaway Jr., who made a career-high 10 field goals, has led the team in scoring in seven games this season. He is also the first team player who has tallied at least 24 points in seven of the first eight games of the season. Patrick Ewing was the last to do it over the first eight games of the 1990-91 season.