Bird: Pacers got 'lucky' in Game 2
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Larry Bird was perfectly honest in his assessment of the Indiana Pacers' victory over the New York Knicks.

"I really felt we were lucky," the Indiana coach said after the Pacers beat the Knicks 88-84 on Thursday night to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

"We're very fortunate. I really felt they outplayed us. We just got lucky at the end. The ball went our way."

Jalen Rose, selected the NBA's most improved player Wednesday, came up with a key defensive effort in the final seconds, and scored 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter.

"We felt it was the biggest game in franchise history," said Rose, who was 3-for-13 in the first three quarters and had missed seven consecutive shots until he hit a jumper to cut New York's advantage to 69-67 with 9:16 left in the third "I'm not going to sit here and take the credit for stopping Latrell Sprewell. It takes a team effort to shut down someone like him. But, I did want to play good defense against him."

Sprewell was 3-of-14 from the field and scored 10 points.

"That was big. Jalen played a phenomenal game on defense against one of the league's top offensive players," Pacers guard Mark Jackson said.

"We have to feel really good because we didn't play well. That was probably as ugly as we can play," Jackson said. "We came out with a win just on effort, made big plays in the stretch, went to the glass. Rik Smits came up big when we needed him. It was a big effort from everyone to get the job done."

Rose's jumper tied it at 84 with 55.5 seconds left. The basket came just as the 24-second clock was expiring after Larry Johnson missed knocking the pass away from the Indiana forward. Sprewell also nearly came up with the loose ball on the play.

Rose played all 48 minutes.

"It felt good to be out there with the situation in hand," Rose said. "We were just trying to be consistent and do what we have to do to get to the next round." "We came up with stops when we had to and we made shots when we had to," said Reggie Miller, who scored 19 points.

The Pacers won despite shooting only 36 percent (28-of-77) from the field, but Dale Davis had 16 rebounds for the second straight game.

Davis grabbed three rebounds in the final 50 seconds. The last came when he missed a free throw with 5.8 seconds to go, but hustled to the rebound and fed the ball to Rose for an uncontested dunk to clinch the victory.

"They had two guys down there and they didn't really have anybody covering the shooter," Davis said.

"You definitely don't want to miss on purpose, but I saw if I did I miss I knew I had a clear shot at getting it. They were trying to box out on the block, but I knew if it was high enough I could jump over them because the guys they had were smaller than me." The game was close all the way. New York's biggest lead was eight and Indiana's biggest lead was five. There were seven lead changes and 12 ties.

"We rushed a little bit, but we had looks that didn't go in," Jackson said. "But we can live with it. There were times when we were tentative. There were times when we didn't take a shot that we should have taken.

"The bottom line is we are going to New York with a 2-0 advantage, but this series is far from over. I always say a series doesn't get serious until a home team loses a game." Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
Copyright ©2000 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site.

Knicks lose Game 2 to Pacers, Ewing to injury

Ewing leaves Game 2 with sprained foot

News   Money   Entertainment   Kids   Family
Eastern Conf

Western Conf

Other Rounds

Knicks vs. Pacers

Blazers vs. Lakers

Conference Quarterfinals


Conference Finals