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home : sports : regional January 24, 2015

5/17/2013
NBA: Knicks Top Pacers To Stay Alive

NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points to help the New York Knicks stay alive in the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 85-75 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 on Thursday night.

Reserves J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland each had 13 points for the Knicks, who trail 3-2 and will need a victory Saturday in Indiana to force a seventh game back here Monday. They are trying to become the ninth NBA team to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win a series.

Anthony, who didn't make a basket in the fourth quarter of either game in Indiana, made a jumper midway through the fourth quarter after Indiana closed within four points. He followed with two free throws, Raymond Felton made a layup, and the Knicks were never in jeopardy again.

Paul George had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Pacers, who played without point guard George Hill because of a concussion and committed 19 turnovers.

THUNDER: The day after his Oklahoma City Thunder were knocked out of the second round of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies, Kevin Durant vowed to learn from this season, not lament it.

That view is very different from the one Kobe Bryant offered up when he was 32, when he said any season that didn't result in an NBA championship was "a wasted year of my life." Bryant spoke in 2011 after the Lakers were swept from the playoffs by the Mavericks.

"Nothing's ever a wasted year for me. It's basketball. I've grown so much as a man since the beginning of the season. I've grown so much as a leader. Nothing is ever wasted," the 24-year-old Durant said.




"Of course, the ultimate goal in this league is to win a championship. But I'm never going to say I wasted a year. I'm blessed to even wake up and do something I love every day. So it's never wasted."

MAVERICKS: In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki's intention to take a "significant pay cut" next summer will be part of the Mavericks' sales pitch in July as they attempt to sign a superstar in free agency.

If the Mavs are able to meet with Chris Paul and/or Dwight Howard, Nowitzki plans to promise them that he'll be extremely flexible in his next negotiations with owner Mark Cuban, ensuring that Dallas will have ample space under the salary cap to acquire more talent in the summer of 2014.

Nowitzki gave the Mavs a hometown discount on his current contract, signing a four-year, $80 million deal instead of taking the maximum of $96 million. The Mavs won the franchise's first NBA title the next season, when Cuban essentially used most of the savings on Nowitzki's deal to acquire Tyson Chandler in a salary-dump trade from the Charlotte Bobcats.







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