x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Lin thrives under Woodson as Knicks beat Pacers

Since Woodson took over following D'Antoni's abrupt departure this week, the Knicks have won three games by an average of 23.7 points.

INDIANAPOLIS // Jeremy Lin led the Knicks with 19 points as New York beat the Indiana Pacers 102-88 to improve to 3-0 since interim coach Mike Woodson took the helm of the NBA team.

Lin, who emerged as an NBA sensation under former Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni last month, added seven rebounds and six assists as he proved he can continue to thrive under the Woodson regime.

Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire scored 16 points apiece and JR Smith chipped in with 11 for the Knicks, who notched just their eighth road victory of the lockout-shortened season.

The victory followed their 115-100 triumph over the Pacers at Madison Square Garden.

Since Woodson took over following D'Antoni's abrupt departure this week, the Knicks have won three games by an average of 23.7 points.

While much had been made of how Woodson might change the Knicks' offensive system - and how point guard Lin would fit in - an increased focus on defence has been the most noticeable change.

After a high-scoring first quarter, the Knicks gave up just 53 points over the final three periods.

"I think we came out a little flat, gave them 35 points in first quarter," Lin said. "So we talked about the rotations being a step late, we tried to focus on that."

Roy Hibbert scored 24 points with 12 rebounds and Paul George added 18 for the Pacers, who made only 4 of 15 shots from the floor in the final period.

For Woodson, it was a victorious homecoming to a city where he was once a high school star.

After the Knicks' big win on Friday, however, he knew Pacers fans wouldn't be welcoming.

"It's going to be a hostile environment in here," Woodson said prior to the contest.

"Our guys should be excited about a game like this. We're still trying to stay in the hunt. We made some strides the last two games. We've just got to take it a game at a time and keep going."