NBA playoffs: Pacers crush Knicks, 121–89, in Game 4 Mother's Day massacre

Both teams emptied their benches by the fourth quarter in a blowout

After winning many close games so far through the 2024 NBA playoffs, the New York Knicks hit a wall in Game 4 of their second-round series with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers cruised to a 121–89 win at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, evening the best-of-seven series at 2–2.

Tyrese Haliburton showed no effects from an aching ankle that looked bad after Friday's Game 3 and back spasms that have troubled him throughout the postseason. He led Indiana with 20 points, shooting 4-for-10 on 3-pointers, adding six rebounds and five assists. But he played only 27 minutes as both teams gave their starters a rest for the entire fourth quarter.

Jalen Brunson scored 18 points, his lowest total of the 2024 postseason. His day ended early when coach Tom Thibodeau emptied the Knicks' bench with two minutes left in the third quarter. Even Josh Hart got an early rest after playing nearly every minute of the series' first three games. He finished with two points.

T.J. McConnell added 15 with 10 assists for Indiana while Pascal Siakam and Obi Toppin both finished with 14, and Myles Turner notched 13. As a team, the Pacers shot 56.8% (50-of-88) from the field, including 45.2% (14-for-31) on 3-pointers. Aaron Nesmith led both teams with 12 rebounds.

Donte DiVincenzo managed only seven points for the Knicks, shooting 3-for-13 after an incredible 35-point performance in Game 3. Alec Burks led New York with 20 points, which indicates what sort of afternoon it was, even if more reserves ended up playing in the blowout.

Shooting 33.7% from the field (and 18.9% on 3s), this was only the second time during the 2024 postseason that the Knicks didn't score at least 100 points.

The Knicks began the game with a 2–0 lead approximately 40 seconds into the game. From there, Indiana began their first-half demolition. The Pacers raced out to 19–6 and 22–8 leads and ended the first quarter leading 34–14. Haliburton scored eight points in the frame, while both Toppin and McConnell had seven.

By halftime, the score was 69-41. It was the second-largest halftime deficit New York has ever faced in the postseason. For Indiana, it was the largest halftime lead in its playoff history.

New York had very little energy from the start, likely due in part to injuries catching up with them. OG Anunoby missed his second consecutive game with a strained left hamstring and Jalen Brunson was limited by a right foot injury while the Pacers continued playing physical defense from full court, rotating Nesmith, Andrew Nembhard and McConnell on him.

Brunson also appeared to hurt his left foot two minutes into the game after landing on Nesmith's foot on a jump shot. He scored only one point in the quarter, shooting 0-for-5.

During the playoffs, Thibodeau typically loves to play his starters for the majority of a game and keep his rotation short. But with Anunoby out along with Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic, the Knicks' shorthanded lineup appears to be wearing down.

One day of rest before the next game might not be enough of a break for a team that looks tired against an opponent looking fresher and more energetic.

Game 5 of the Pacers-Knicks series is scheduled for Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The home team has won each game thus far. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. ET with the telecast on TNT.