One win away
Knicks know knockout Friday puts them in NBA Finals
Posted: Thursday June 10, 1999 12:42 AM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Two Knicks newcomers, rookies to the rivalry with the Indiana Pacers, put New York within one victory of the NBA Finals.
Led by Marcus Camby and Latrell Sprewell, the Knicks played with endless intensity and, undaunted by an early 14-point deficit, put together one of their best all-around games of this postseason and stunned the Indiana Pacers 101-94 Wednesday night.
It gave the Knicks a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference finals and a chance to win the series at home Friday night in Game 6.
Camby came off the bench to provide 21 points and 13 rebounds in his third straight strong performance, while Sprewell took the ball to the hoop with a vengeance and scored 29.
Along with 19 points from Allan Houston, 17 points from Larry Johnson, 10 from Kurt Thomas and a season-low seven turnovers, the Knicks got just enough from everybody to come away with a crucial victory in the pivotal game of the series.
New York also overcame Reggie Miller's best game of the series, a 30-point outing that was offset by a below-average effort by Indiana's bench, which scored just 15 points.
This was a night when the Knicks could have come apart after Indiana outscored them 28-14 in the first quarter. New York instead came back to outscore Indiana 28-14 in the second.
New York took the lead for good with 5:55 left and went 10-for-12 from the foul line in the final 1:44 to stay comfortably ahead.
It was the third victory in this series for the road team, and the Knicks improved to 6-2 away from Madison Square Garden this postseason. A big reason was the revial of their transition game as they scored 18 fast-break points to Indiana's two.
It was a one-point game before Johnson hit consecutive 3-pointers with 3:38 and 2:49 left. Camby scored on a layup to make it 91-84 with 2:14 left, and Indiana tried to play catchup the rest of the way.
Miller had a 3-pointer and Smits a dunk, cutting the deficit to four each time, and the game went into the final minute with the Knicks ahead 93-89.
From there, Sprewell (7-for-8), Johnson (2-for-2) and Houston (1-for-2) closed things out from the free throw line and sent the Pacers' faithful heading to the exits well before the final buzzer.
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