INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers forward Thaddeus Young pinpoints the most impressive factor in the team's six-game winning streak is resiliency.
"We continue to fight through adversity even when we feel like some calls are not going our way, we just continue to fight," Young said. "Continue to be there for one another. I think the unity in this locker room is like no other. We all feel like we're brothers and we're family. We all want to cover for each other and make sure we're there for our brothers."
The Pacers (19-10) will face the New York Knicks (9-21) on Sunday.
Young scored a season-high 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in Friday night's 113-101 victory over visiting Philadelphia. He said his recent offensive success comes from feeding off his teammates.
"Just playing, just trying to be aggressive," Young said. "Having fun just hooping, I think that's the biggest thing. Early in the season, I wasn't playing to the best of my abilities, I was just thinking about it too much. I had a few conversations with some of my guys and they just told me, just hoop. That's what I've been doing, just playing, just hooping, and just feeding off their energy."
In his second game back Friday after missing 11 consecutive games with a knee injury, Pacers guard Victor Oladipo scored 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting. Oladipo had two 3-pointers in the final minutes to seal the victory.
"Late in the game, we started to give him the ball and allow him to make some plays," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said of Oladipo. "It was good to see him make those plays down the stretch. Those are the things we really missed when he was out. That guy was kind of the closer for us. You put it in his hands and allow him to make plays. I thought he took what the defense gave him. Hit a couple of jump shots, had a couple of assists in that final period, and he is slowly getting his conditioning and working his way back."
Young said Oladipo's contributions were clutch.
"I mean, he is our guy, there's no doubting that," Young said. "He's our closer, he knows how to close games, he knows how to put us in position to where we can get scores and get opportunities to be able to play and feed off him. We put the ball in his hands and we just play off him. We trust that he's going to make the right play, which he does most of the time. He makes the right play whether it's him taking the mid-range jumper or getting all the way to the basket or him making a late pass. I was the beneficiary of some of those late passes."
While the Pacers have been on a roll, the Knicks broke a five-game losing streak by edging Charlotte 126-124 in overtime on Friday night. The Knicks rallied from a 21-point first-half deficit.
"I don't know when they are going to show up. I love these kids," Knicks coach David Fizdale said. "They never cease to amaze me in both ways. Trust me. They do some stuff where I go, 'What are they doing?' And they do stuff like this where they don't quit."
New York point guard Emmanuel Mudiay scored 29 of his 34 points after halftime. Mudiay, who played 41 minutes, hit 14 of 21 shots. Muidiay's minutes increased because Frank Ntilikina suffered a mild ankle sprain in the third quarter. Knicks rookie center Mitchell Robinson also suffered an ankle sprain during the game.
"It says a lot about this team," Mudiay told the New York Post. "We work so hard. We don't want to just go out there and quit. Just keep pushing and chopping at the tree. I just wanted to win so bad. I knew Frank went out. I think when he went out i had to be more aggressive."
Robinson and Ntilikina are questionable for Sunday's game. The Knicks finished Friday's game with eight healthy players.
Indiana's Myles Turner is $15,000 lighter after the NBA announced Saturday that the fourth-year center/forward was fined for making an inappropriate gesture toward the spectator stands during Friday's victory.
Pacers streak into home date with Knicks
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