The Pacers (22-14) have won 12 of 15 and have swept the other two Eastern Conference division leaders—Miami and the Knicks—this week.
New York (23-12) was led by J.R. Smith with 25 points and Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 15 rebounds, but they clearly missed Anthony's presence. The NBA's second-leading scorer was banned by the league for Monday's postgame confrontation with Boston's Kevin Garnett.
Without Anthony, one of the league's highest-scoring and best shooting teams, hardly resembled itself. New York finished with a season-low point total, nine fewer than its previous low, and shot just 34.8 percent from the field and 20 percent from 3-point range.
But Smith kept the Knicks close for three quarters.
After falling behind 49-38 early in the third quarter, Smith scored eight points during a 13-3 run that got the Knicks to 52-51. And he closed the quarter by scoring the last four points to give the Knicks a 60-58 lead.
That's when George poured it on.
He drove in for a layup, then stole the ball and drove in for a dunk to tie the score at 62. After Gerald Green's 3-pointer broke the tie and Ian Mahinmi hit a 20-foot jumper, George came up with another steal and layup. Mahinmi finished the run with a dunk that gave Indiana a 71-62 lead with just under 5 minutes to play.
The Pacers never trailed again, and the Knicks never seriously challenged again.
Indiana won despite playing without the still injured Danny Granger, losing Roy Hibbert twice with a back injury and with George Hill playing with bronchitis.
New York lost Marcus Camby in the second half after he re-injured his left foot, and Amare Stoudemire played 21 minutes, 31 seconds after doctors told coach Mike Woodson to limit his playing time.
But it was a game that was definitely played at the Pacers tempo.
After New York jumped to an 11-4 lead in the first 5 1/2 minutes, the Knicks managed only three points the rest of the quarter. Indiana led 16-14 after one.
Things weren't much better the second quarter. After New York closed to 24-23 with 6:27 to go, the Pacers extended the lead to 39-31. Jason Kidd's 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left, New York's first 3 of the game, made cut the deficit to 39-34 at the half.