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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ewing Drives Knicks Past Pacers

NEW YORK -- His sore left calf was so heavily taped, Patrick Ewing resembled a mummy. He displayed about the same mobility as a museum exhibit against the Indiana Pacers' Rik Smits, flailing -- and nearly failing -- to preserve his dignity and the New York Knicks' season.

But when the Knicks inbounded the ball with 5.9 seconds to play on Wednesday and John Starks found him beyond the top of key, Ewing took on new life -- and a new identity.

"I thought I was Michael Jordan," Ewing said. "That's always a big man's dream, to get it, put it on the floor, drive, spin, double clutch."

His dream became the Pacers' nightmare when his running seven-footer with 1.8 seconds to play gave the Knicks a 96-95 victory before 19,763 emotionally exhausted fans at Madison Square Garden and cut Indiana's lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series to 3-2.

The Pacers' Reggie Miller, who had stunned the Knicks and the crowd in the series opener in New York when he scored eight points in the last 16.4 seconds, almost staged a replay Wednesday when he went up for another 3-pointer in the final second. But Miller, who loves playing at the Garden, couldn't do it again.

This time, his shot bounced off the rim. And this time, actor-director-Knick fan Spike Lee had the last laugh on Miller, who had taunted Lee last season by wrapping his hands around his throat in a "choke" sign when the Knicks lost. Lee fanned his souvenir playoff towel in Miller's direction, but he wasn't ready to throw in the towel. Neither were the Knicks.

"They had to win the game," said Pacer Coach Larry Brown, who vainly protested that Ewing had traveled on the winning shot. "We didn't lose the game."

The Pacers get another chance to dethrone the Knicks on Friday, when the series resumes at Market Square Arena. Still, they know they're living dangerously by having failed to close them out Wednesday. Should the Knicks win Friday, Game 7 would be Sunday at the Garden.

"We wanted this one," said Byron Scott, whose 3-pointer had put Indiana ahead, 95-94, with 5.9 seconds to play. "We played about as well as we could, and they played about as well as they could. It took a last-second shot to win this.

"I think we've got everything it takes to win. We've just got to go home and do it. We did it the first two games at home. We knew from the start and after we were up, 3-1, that they weren't going to give up."Said Knicks Coach Pat Riley: "We saved the game and upped the ante."