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Pacers and Grizzlies take wins to go up 2-1

INDIANAPOLIS--The Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies both took 2-1 leads in their NBA conference semifinal series with victories on Saturday, as two of the league's more modest teams got the better of the New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder respectively.

Indiana's Roy Hibbert finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Paul George nearly came up with another postseason triple double, leading the Pacers to an 82-71 win.

Indiana limited the Knicks to 35.2 percent shooting from the floor, allowed just three 3-pointers and forced 15 turnovers. And, of course, the league's No. 1 rebounding team dominated the glass again, finishing with a 53-40 rebounding edge and a 20-10 edge in second-chance points.

“That's how we play Pacers basketball,” George said. “We just locked in, and it was just helping one another on the defensive end.”

Indiana won despite a 28 for 80 shooting performance that included a season-high 33 3-point attempts.

“They outrebounded us, they won the hustle today, the little things,” Carmelo Anthony said. “It all came down to us not scoring the basketball. ... We can't beat anyone scoring 71 points.”

If Indiana wins a fifth straight home playoff game on Tuesday, it will head back to Madison Square Garden with a commanding lead over a longtime rival.

HIbbert kept loose balls alive in his best playoff performance of this postseason. Coach Frank Vogel called it his best playoff game ever.

George finished with 14 points, but he also had eight rebounds and eight assists and caused plenty of consternation for Anthony and others on defense.

David West got off to a slow start but finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds and George Hill knocked down five 3s and he finished with 17 points.

“We didn't change much in terms of our physicality,” West said. “We were a little bit more precise defensively in terms of our communication and we shored some things up.”

The Knicks had only one player in double figures. Carmelo Anthony scored 21, but the NBA scoring champion went j6 of 16 from the field, managed only two points and no baskets in the fourth quarter and finished well below his playoff scoring average of 29.3.

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Landon Roosa watches as the Indiana Pacers prepare for Game 3 of an Eastern Conference semifinal playoff against the New York Knicks in Indianapolis, Saturday, May (AFP)

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