Knicks
Pacers
98 - 110 Final
  for this game

Pacers win as Dunleavy torches Knicks again

Mar 18, 2008 - 3:37 AM By Gary Knight PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- If only Mike Dunleavy and the Indiana Pacers could play the New York Knicks every night.

Dunleavy tied his career high of 36 points for the fourth time this season and Danny Granger had a strong fourth quarter to lead the Pacers to a 110-98 victory over the Knicks on Monday.

"If he scores 36 points 50 more times in his career, that's fine with me," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said.

It was the second time this season that Dunleavy tied his career best against New York. He also scored 36 on December 17 in Indiana's 119-92 victory at Madison Square Garden.

"This is the time of the season when I really try to step it up," Dunleavy said. "We've played these guys three times and we play them one more time. I can't really say there's a reason behind my success against them, but I'm motivated and pushed by the desire to make the postseason.

"These last 15 games; I will do anything within my power to try and get this team to the postseason. It means a lot, I've never made it, I would like to be there, and hopefully, it's something we can accomplish."

Dunleavy was 12-of-20 from the field, including 4-of-7 from the arc, and added six rebounds and four assists. Indiana led 81-79 after three, and Granger helped the Pacers open up some breathing room in the fourth.

He scored 10 of his 26 points in the first six minutes of the fourth and added 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

"I think that's a sign of a guy who's trying to lead," O'Brien said. "He picked it up to another level offensively and defensively tonight."

Indiana has been struggling and is still just 2-5 in its last seven games but remains in the playoff hunt in the weak Eastern Conference. The Pacers (26-41) are three games behind the Atlanta Hawks (29-38) for eighth place.

"This is what we needed, desperately," Granger said of the win. "We need all three games this week. We've talked about these three games being against teams with losing records, and that we need to take advantage of it. If we are going to make a move, we need to make it now."

New York was led by Zach Randolph with 21 points. Jamal Crawford and rookie Wilson Chandler added 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the struggling Knicks, who are 1-8 in March.

"The last five or six minutes, we just struggled to score," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "Dunleavy was having a good game, and we had a couple of defensive breakdowns that they were able to take advantage of, and they just kind of pulled away from us."