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Pacers, Thunder open NBA series with wins

NEW YORK — Bigger, badder, and so far better.

Physicality beat finesse Sunday, as the Pacers outworked and outmuscled the Knicks in a 102-95 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

David West had 20 points and Paul George 19 for Indiana, which outrebounded smaller New York 44-30.

"I thought guys did a good job just putting them on their heels," West said. "We were attacking, we were aggressive."

D.J. Augustin had 16 points for the Pacers, who built a 16-point lead while Carmelo Anthony was on the bench in foul trouble in the third quarter.

Anthony had 27 points and 11 rebounds, but was frustrated by tough defense and the referees. He shot 10 of 28 from the field and was perhaps thrown out of sync having to defend West, a natural power forward, inside.

"Right now they're just being really physical with him, they're trying to bang him, they're trying to frustrate him," Knicks point guard Raymond Felton said. "But we're going to be fine, he's going to be fine."

The Pacers, who allowed the second-fewest points per game and the lowest field-goal percentage in the league during the regular season, mixed in solid offense. They outscored New York 59-38 across the middle two quarters and were comfortably ahead throughout the fourth.

"They just flat-out played harder than we did," said Anthony, who over his past four games is 35-for-110.

Thunder out front

OKLAHOMA CITY — With his team down one in the final minute, Thunder guard Derek Fisher turned a tough situation for Oklahoma City into the worst-case scenario for the Grizzlies.

Fisher poked the ball away from Memphis' Mike Conley, springing three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant into the open court. Durant pulled up and hit a jumper with 11.1 seconds left, lifting the Thunder to a 93-91 victory in Game 1 of the West semifinals.

"I just wanted to get up the floor as quick as possible and find a shot," said Durant, who scored 35.

Reggie Jackson hit two free throws for a three-point lead, and Quincy Pondexter couldn't force overtime after getting fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left.

Pondexter, a 72 percent career free-throw shooter, missed the first free throw. He made his second and intentionally missed the third, but Durant swatted the rebound away and Marc Gasol's buzzer-beater was late.

"We couldn't get stops. That's why we lost," said Gasol (20 points, 10 rebounds). "We didn't lose because of free throws."

Wade should be ready: For Miami, the biggest injury question heading into the second-round series against Chicago is Dwyane Wade, who is listed as day-to-day with bone bruises around his right knee. But after a week off thanks to the Heat's first-round sweep of the Bucks, Wade should play tonight in Game 1. Forward Luol Deng was expected to rejoin the Bulls in Miami after missing the end of the Brooklyn series because he needed a spinal tap to rule out meningitis. Guard Kirk Hinrich missed the last three games of Round 1 with a calf injury.

Carlesimo won't return: Hours after they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the Nets announced that P.J. Carlesimo wouldn't return as coach. Carlesimo helped Brooklyn finish 49-33 after replacing the fired Avery Johnson in December, earning the No. 4 seed in the East. But they spotted the Bulls a 17-point halftime lead and lost 99-93 at home Saturday night in Game 7.

Pacers 102, Knicks 95

INDIANA (102): George 5-14 7-8 19, West 8-15 4-5 20, Hibbert 6-9 2-2 14, Hill 5-17 2-2 14, Stephenson 5-9 1-3 11, T.Hansbrough 3-6 2-2 8, Augustin 5-6 2-4 16, Young 0-0 0-0 0, Mahinmi 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-76 20-26 102.

NEW YORK (95): Anthony 10-28 6-6 27, Shumpert 4-11 2-2 11, Chandler 2-2 0-0 4, Felton 8-12 1-1 18, Prigioni 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 4-15 7-10 17, Martin 5-8 2-4 12, Kidd 0-1 0-0 0, Copeland 2-3 0-0 6, Camby 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-81 18-23 95.

Indiana 22 30 29 21— 102

New York 27 19 19 30— 95

3-PointersIndiana 8-23 (Augustin 4-5, George 2-6, Hill 2-9, West 0-1, Stephenson 0-2), New York 7-19 (Copeland 2-3, Smith 2-6, Felton 1-1, Anthony 1-4, Shumpert 1-4, Kidd 0-1). Fouled OutGeorge, Chandler. ReboundsIndiana 54 (Stephenson 13), New York 42 (Anthony 11). AssistsIndiana 21 (Hill 6), New York 15 (Prigioni 6). FoulsIndiana 21, New York 21. A19,033 (19,763).

Thunder 93, Grizzlies 91

MEMPHIS (91): Prince 4-10 0-2 9, Randolph 7-16 4-5 18, Gasol 8-14 4-7 20, Conley 5-15 2-3 13, Allen 1-5 1-1 3, Dooling 0-2 0-0 0, Arthur 1-3 0-0 2, Bayless 4-7 0-0 10, Pondexter 4-8 2-5 13, Daye 1-2 1-1 3. Totals 35-82 14-24 91.

OKLAHOMA CITY (93): Durant 13-26 9-10 35, Ibaka 1-10 3-4 5, Perkins 1-6 0-0 2, Jackson 4-8 4-4 12, Sefolosha 2-5 0-0 4, Martin 8-14 6-7 25, Collison 1-3 0-0 2, Fisher 3-7 0-0 8, Thabeet 0-0 0-0 0, Liggins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-80 22-25 93.

Memphis 16 30 27 18— 91

Oklahoma City 14 33 17 29— 93

3-PointersMemphis 7-19 (Pondexter 3-5, Bayless 2-4, Prince 1-4, Conley 1-5, Dooling 0-1), Oklahoma City 5-15 (Martin 3-5, Fisher 2-3, Liggins 0-1, Perkins 0-1, Sefolosha 0-1, Ibaka 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Durant 0-2). ReboundsMemphis 57 (Gasol, Randolph 10), Oklahoma City 50 (Durant 15). AssistsMemphis 13 (Conley, Gasol, Pondexter 3), Oklahoma City 13 (Durant 6). FoulsMemphis 22, Oklahoma City 22. TechnicalsOklahoma City defensive three second. Flagrant Foul—Collison. A18,203 (18,203).

Pacers, Thunder open NBA series with wins 05/05/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 5, 2013 10:40pm]

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