The Indiana Pacers won another victory (116-103) on their home field Friday against the New York Knicks, forcing a decisive Game 7 at Madison Square Garden in New York to determine who will join Boston in the Eastern Conference final.

In a room filled with nearly 18,000 supporters dressed in yellow t-shirts, the Pacers were able to show themselves solid on Friday against the Knicks determined to close the series. In the end, a significant gap and the impression that one team had physically gained the upper hand over the other.

When Jalen Brunson goes, everything goes for New York. The opposite is also valid, when the leader misses his first period in such a proportion (0 out of 11 on shots). Even if there was an excellent Miles McBride, author of 11 of the Knicks’ first 17 points to start his own.

Not enough, however, to undermine the Pacers’ confidence at home. Indiana was able to benefit from a clear domination inside, with Pascal Siakam (25 points) and Miles Turner (17 points). Shooting success fared well, and climbed to 56% in the first two quarters. In the end, in the paint, the Pacers scored 62 points, compared to 38 for New York.

Upon returning from the locker room, despite the strong return of Jaden Brunson who finally made his shots (31 pts in total), nothing seemed to disturb the serenity of Rick Carlisle’s Pacers. Indiana even had a lead of up to 23 points over the Knicks.

A team renowned for being as dangerous offensively as it is not very involved in defense, Indiana seems to have worked particularly hard on this aspect of the game since the start of the playoffs. Better contested shots but also rebounds, a strong sector for the New Yorkers (47 rebounds to 35). With such broad background, the yellows and blues gradually advanced towards authoritarian success (116-103).

It will therefore be a question of closing this very good series in the Eastern Conference with a final meeting, the one which will choose who will face Boston in the final east of the Mississippi. New York, weakened match after match by the harshness of the clashes, will have to count on the unique atmosphere of Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon.

Will Josh Hart be there? The Knicks rebounding winger, who was affected, spent his time on the bench against Indiana applying ice packs to his abs. Far from being able to make the most of his abilities, he had to leave the floor 9 minutes from time, heading to the locker room.

Elements which suggest that Indiana will move with the necessary confidence to try to return to the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 2014, 10 years after Paul George and his family.