Immanuel Quickley
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks bucked down for an ugly win against the Indiana Pacers.

It wasn’t pretty, but the New York Knicks pulled off a vintage Knicks win against their longtime rival Indiana Pacers.

The 92-84 win had its ups and downs, and ultimately a playoff vibe. Reggie Miller wasn’t even on the court to taunt Spike Lee, and yet it was is if we parked the DeLorean on 8th Avenue, not far from where Bill and Ted left the booth, and then sauntered into MSG for an East Semis rematch.

Okay, time-travel movie jokes aside, the New York Knicks gutted out a much-needed win. The third quarter knocked them down at first, but they made it happen. The bench overcame stagnant offense from the starters once again. Only this time, it all came together in the end.


Brick City

Make no mistake, this low-scoring game was no accident. Indiana shot just 37.6% from the field and an awful 21.6% from three. It didn’t help that rookie shooter Chris Duarte sat out with a shoulder injury either, but the Knicks were no better. New York was just 43% from the field and 32.4% from three.



90s vibes

And yet, there was something beautiful in this tough defensive gem of a game. The defense on display tonight defined the New York Knicks in their prime 90s years. And whenever the Pacers came to town, the defense was amped up to 11 from the start. Tonight, the Knicks fought for every loose ball and never lost focus even when the shots didn’t fall.


Prize fight

Speaking of toughness, this game got chippy and for good reason. More often than not, the officials let a lot of contact slide, sometimes to the point of absurdity. Kemba Walker got frustrated enough that he drew a technical foul in the midst of a Knicks cold stretch in the third quarter. It was a physical game from start to finish and in another era, perhaps things might have escalated.



Rose closes it out

Once again, Derrick Rose proved the real leader of these New York Knicks and overcame tired legs to play some important fourth quarter minutes. Even better, Rose scored a pair of clutch floaters in the fourth to pad the Knicks’ lead as time wound down.

On top of that, Rose fed RJ Barrett for a slam that put the Garden crowd into overdrive.

The former MVP finished with 14 points and seven assists off the bench.


Player of the Game: Immanuel Quickley

However, Rose’s heroics did not hold a candle to Immanuel Quickley’s. The young second-year guard drilled four threes, including one that gave the New York Knicks a permanent lead in the fourth quarter. He finished with 16 points in 23 minutes, and even got his hands dirty with five rebounds.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.