It wasn’t eight points in nine seconds, the lingering memory of that bit of Indiana Pacers history still jabbing at the Knicks as they took the floor Tuesday. In a must-win playoff game with the villain, Reggie Miller, was sitting courtside to provide an eery reminder of the event 18 years to the day after it happened.

But on the same court, the Knicks ran off a burst of their own - a longer, methodical streak, but just as soul-crushing. This time, in a game that was up for grabs, meaning the Knicks postseason hopes probably were, too, the Pacers inched ahead by two points in the third quarter.

And the Knicks pummeled the Pacers from there, running off a 30-2 burst, capped by 23 consecutive points until the teams emptied the benches as the Knicks ran out the clock with no danger of last-minute disasters, beating Indiana, 105-79, to even the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series at one game each.

The teams now get a breather, the series resuming in Indiana Saturday for Game 3, the Knicks avoiding the frightening prospect of heading on the road down two games.

The Knicks had never trailed until Lance Stephenson delivered a three-point field goal with 4:21 left in the third quarter. When George Hill followed a Kenyon Martin bucket with another three the Pacers were up 64-62. And what happened from there could only be described as the happiest dreams that Knicks coach Mike Woodson could imagine.

The performance really began even as they were trailing with Carmelo Anthony, who had struggled with his shot created a hustle play, saving the ball on the defensive end and then running the floor to drop in a pretty reserve tip-in of a Raymond Felton miss. After the Pacers called timeout up 64-62 with 3:05 left in the third, Anthony stole the ball from Paul George and drove for a layup to tie the game and start the unlikely streak. He then drove the baseline, dunking and drawing a foul to put the Knicks ahead.

By the time the third quarter ended the Knicks were up 72-66 and Madison Square Garden was reverberating with an odd assortment of chants, from “Pab-lo, Pab-lo,” to “We want Shumpert.” But as the Knicks began to pile on, the chant was a more familiar, “M-V-P, M-V-P,” directed toward Anthony.