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Dunleavy drills New York for 36 in Pacers' pasting of Thomas' Knicks

Monday, December 17, 2007

By BRIAN MAHONEY

AP Basketball Writer

NEW YORK -- Mike Dunleavy scored 22 of his career-high 36 points in the third quarter, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 119-92 Monday night.

Jermaine O'Neal added 22 points, two days after sustaining a mild concussion in a victory at Miami. The Pacers, the highest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference, ran away from the Knicks after the game was tied at 64 midway through the third quarter.

Troy Murphy had 17 points and Danny Granger 16 for Indiana, which has won two in a row for the first time since Nov. 27 and 28. The Pacers had alternated losses and wins in eight games since.

Indiana shot 58 percent from the field, going 11-for-23 from 3-point range, and outscored New York 55-28 after the final tie.

Zach Randolph had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who endured a stretch of 20 straight missed shots over a nearly 11-minute span in the second quarter and lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Stephon Marbury returned to the Knicks after missing four straight games after his father's death. He came off the bench and scored 16 points, and Eddy Curry also added 16.

The Knicks battled back from their ugly quarter to tied it at 64 when David Lee made two free throws with 5:51 left in the third period. Dunleavy answered with a layup and scored Indiana's next 12 points, capping his personal flurry with a 3-pointer that made it 76-66 with 2:08 left in the quarter.

Indiana led 84-72 after three, and the only mystery after that was how loud the Madison Square Garden staff would have to pump out the sound effects to drown out the "Fire Isiah" chants as the lead grew in the fourth quarter.

Dunleavy nailed another 3-pointer to make it 103-81 with 5:37 remaining, surpassing his previous best performance of 32 points for Golden State against Philadelphia on Nov. 1, 2003. The lead ballooned to 31 later in the period.

Randolph was 7-of-9 for 15 points in the first quarter, when the Knicks shot 67 percent, and his layup with 23 seconds left gave New York a 27-26 lead headed to the second.

Jamal Crawford made a jumper 14 seconds into the period, but the Knicks wouldn't make another field goal for nearly 11 minutes. The Knicks missed 20 consecutive shots during that stretch, and if that wasn't bad enough, they even managed to embarrass themselves on defense as well.

Randolph, apparently looking to argue a call, completely turned his back and left Murphy wide open for a 3-pointer that made it 51-39 with 1:20 remaining. Randolph ended the drought with a bucket with 56 seconds remaining, and his 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds to go cut Indiana's lead to 53-46.

Notes:

The Pacers have won or split the series in each of the last 10 seasons. ... Knicks coach Isiah Thomas led the Pacers to three straight playoff appearances as their coach from 2000-03. ... Indiana was averaging 103.9 points coming into the game.



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