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Pacers finish off Knicks

Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, celebrating after hitting a shot and getting fouled, scores 25 and pulls down 10 rebounds.

Associated Press

Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, celebrating after hitting a shot and getting fouled, scores 25 and pulls down 10 rebounds.

INDIANAPOLIS — Lance Stephenson scored a playoff career-high 25 and led a late decisive run Saturday, leading the Pacers past the Knicks 106-99 and into the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 2004.

The New York native also had 10 rebounds and the Pacers, who are 6-0 at home in the playoffs, were spurred by the return of point guard George Hill two days after he was diagnosed with a concussion.

Next up is a rematch with Miami, the team that eliminated Indiana last season.

Carmelo Anthony scored 39 and Iman Shumpert 19 for New York.

Indiana trailed 92-90 with 5:43 left in the game but rallied after Roy Hibbert blocked Anthony's dunk attempt and Stephenson scored on a layup that started the 11-2 spurt.

The Pacers limited New York to 40 percent shooting, had a 43-36 rebounding advantage and committed 10 fewer turnovers than in Game 5.

New York played better than it had in the first five games of the series, making 13 of 30 3-pointers. It just wasn't enough with Hill scoring 12 for Indiana.

Newcomer Grizzlies meet veteran Spurs

MEMPHIS — On the best playoff run in their short history, the Grizzlies refuse to be satisfied with just reaching their first West final.

The Spurs? They know time is running out for a team that has done a lot in the playoffs, yet last celebrated a championship in 2007.

Blowing a 2-0 lead in the West final a year ago to Oklahoma City has driven the Spurs since training camp, and now they are back in the final, with Game 1 today against Memphis, determined not to waste another chance.

"We understand as a team that those opportunities are very rare, and we have another great one right now," guard Tony Parker said. "We have homecourt advantage against a very good team, so we have to take full advantage of it."

Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, who won a title in 1977 as a player with Portland, has his Grizzlies believing they can win one, too. The No. 5 seed in the West ousted the Clippers, then the Thunder by winning eight of its last nine games.

"We're just worried about going forward," guard Mike Conley said. "We're happy to be here, but we're still focused on bigger things, and we got another tough opponent."

That would be the Spurs with Tim Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili, who swept the Grizzlies out of their first postseason in 2004. When Memphis finally won a postseason series, they beat the Spurs in six games in 2011.

This should be a defensive showdown between teams built around big men, with Memphis countering Duncan with 7-foot-1 Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph down low. Memphis held teams to an NBA-low average 89.3 points during the regular season, and the Spurs tied for third in defensive efficiency.

"Finding ways to score is going to be very difficult," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Pacers 106, Knicks 99

NEW YORK (99): Shumpert 6-10 2-2 19, Anthony 15-29 8-8 39, Chandler 1-4 0-0 2, Felton 0-7 2-2 2, Prigioni 2-6 0-0 6, Smith 4-15 5-5 15, Martin 2-3 1-1 5, Kidd 0-0 0-0 0, Copeland 3-8 0-0 9, Stoudemire 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 34-85 18-18 99.

INDIANA (106): George 9-15 3-9 23, West 6-12 5-6 17, Hibbert 6-13 9-12 21, Hill 2-10 7-7 12, Stephenson 9-13 7-8 25, T.Hansbrough 0-0 0-0 0, Augustin 1-2 0-0 3, Young 1-2 3-4 5, Mahinmi 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-67 34-46 106.

New York 27 20 34 18— 99

Indiana 29 26 26 25— 106

3-Point GoalsNew York 13-30 (Shumpert 5-6, Copeland 3-6, Prigioni 2-5, Smith 2-9, Anthony 1-4), Indiana 4-15 (George 2-3, Augustin 1-2, Hill 1-6, Young 0-1, Stephenson 0-3). Fouled OutMartin, Shumpert, Chandler. ReboundsNew York 45 (Smith 10), Indiana 51 (Hibbert 12). AssistsNew York 19 (Felton, Prigioni 6), Indiana 17 (West, Hill, George 4). Total FoulsNew York 34, Indiana 16. TechnicalsSmith. A18,165.

Pacers finish off Knicks 05/18/13 [Last modified: Sunday, May 19, 2013 12:23am]
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