Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks broke out just enough to stay in it.
Anthony scored 28 points and the Knicks avoided elimination in the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 85-75 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Reserves J.R. Smith and Chris Copeland each had 13 points for the Knicks, who trail three games to two and will need a victory Saturday in Indiana to force a seventh game back in New York on Monday.
"I was totally impressed because we met the challenge," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I think as a coach you come into games like this and you want to see who's going to step up and make plays, and I thought we did that tonight. We were the better team in terms of doing that."
Anthony, who didn't make a basket in the fourth quarter of either game in Indiana, made a jumper midway through the fourth quarter after Indiana closed to within four points. He followed with two free throws, Raymond Felton made a layup, and the Knicks were never in jeopardy again.
Paul George had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Pacers. They played without point guard George Hill because of a concussion and committed 19 turnovers.
In a season that seemed doomed once all-star Russell Westbrook was lost to a knee injury, Kevin Durant couldn't save the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Facing a desperation game and one last desperation shot, Durant couldn't come through in the clutch and give the Thunder a chance to play another day.
Durant struggled through one of the worst shooting performances of his playoff career and missed a jumper that would have tied it in the closing seconds. Oklahoma City's season ended Wednesday night in Oklahoma City with an 88-84 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.
The three-time scoring champion missed a 16-foot jumper from the left wing to tie the game with six seconds left and ended up with 21 points on 5-for-21 shooting, his third-worst performance in the postseason.
"I can live with myself knowing that I gave it all that I had," said Durant, who played all 48 minutes.
Zach Randolph had 28 points and 14 rebounds, and Mike Conley added 13 points and 11 assists as the fifth-seeded Grizzlies advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history.
- Associated Press