Johnson Rebounds But Knicks Fall
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Larry Johnson showed up Thursday night. Still, he couldn’t save the New York Knicks.
Johnson rebounded from one of the worst playoff games of his career and came up big after Patrick Ewing went out with a foot injury, scoring 25 points against the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night.
But the Knicks faded in the final minute, watching helplessly as the Pacers scored the last six points for an 88-84 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Johnson was invisible in Game 1 on Tuesday night. He scored just three points and managed only five rebounds, losing miserably in the head-to-head battle with his Indiana counterpart, Dale Davis, who had 14 points and 16 rebounds.
Davis managed just three points in the second game, but he bedeviled Johnson and the Knicks once again. After missing two free throws with 5.8 seconds left and the Pacers clinging to an 86-84 lead, Davis hustled after the loose ball for the last of his rebounds.
The Indiana player tipped the ball away from the shorter Charlie Ward and found Jalen Rose wide open under the basket. Rose dunked home the clincher with 2.4 second to go and the clock ran out on the Knicks.
Ewing played only seven minutes, going out in the first quarter with a strained tendon in the right foot.
Johnson came through with 14 points and six rebounds in the first half, pushing the Knicks to a 43-42 lead at the break. He added seven points in the third, sending New York to the final period up 66-61.
But the Knicks couldn’t finish. Johnson hit only 1-of-3 shots in the fourth quarter and New York managed a 7-of-20 performance in the final period. In the meantime, Jalen Rose and Rik Smits scored 10 points apiece for the Pacers, who stepped up to shoot 10-of-18 with the game on the line.