NBA: Knicks secure No. 2 seed in East
NEW YORK – The New York Knicks locked up their playoff seeding by clinching the number two spot in the Eastern Conference with a 90-80 win Sunday over the Indiana Pacers.
New York, who never trailed after the seven-minute mark of the first quarter, earned their seeding despite playing without Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby.
They assured themselves home-court advantage through the Eastern Conference semi-finals and a first-round meeting with the Boston Celtics.
Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points without even playing in the fourth quarter of the game at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony, who is hoping to win his first NBA scoring title, nailed his first four jumpers to help give the Knicks an early 9-2 lead. He then made just one of his next 10 attempts.
Anthony suffered a left shoulder contusion late in the third quarter and sat for all of the fourth with the Knicks firmly in control.
Chris Copeland scored 20, J.R. Smith had 15 and Raymond Felton finished with 11 for the Knicks, who have won 15 of their last 16.
Lance Stephenson scored a team-high 22 points for Indiana, who have lost four of their last five contests.
They clinched the number three seed in the East after Brooklyn lost on Sunday to Toronto.
David West finished with 17 points and eight rebounds and Jeff Pendergraph came off the bench to score 12 in the loss.