Tyrese Haliburton Took Over In The Second Half To Send The Pacers To The In-Season Tournament Semifinals

The 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament continued on Monday evening with the first two quarterfinal matchups in the event’s history. Fittingly, the evening began with a memorable clash between the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics in Indianapolis, with the Pacers ultimately advancing with a 122-112 home win. The game was riveting for both casual and die-hard observers, but the major storyline was the play of All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton, who erupted for his first career triple-double and keyed the closing kick that sent the Pacers to Las Vegas.

Boston led by seven points at the half, taking advantage of poor two-point shooting in the first half from the Pacers. In fact, Haliburton had only seven points on 3-for-8 shooting before halftime, but the barrage was on the way. Some of the most important work came in the third quarter when the Pacers won the period by a 37-23 margin and Haliburton produced 12 points and five assists in fewer than nine minutes of action.

Indiana led for the majority of the fourth quarter, though Boston delivered a 7-0 run to tie the game at 94-94 with approximately six minutes left. In fact, the Celtics led briefly in the final minutes, but the Pacers saved the best for last. Jayson Tatum tied the game for Boston with 1:57 to go, and that was countered by a 9-0 run that put the game away for Indiana.

Haliburton kicked off the run with a four-point play, and the rest of the spurt seemed to happen in an instant.

When that explosion was over, the win was all but academic for the Pacers, and the atmosphere was wild at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Haliburton stole the show with his first career triple-double, finishing with 26 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds. However, Indiana had seven players in double figures, and the Pacers lived up to the hype of the league’s No. 1 offense by shooting 19-for-40 from three-point distance.

Throughout the season, Indiana has relied on the ability to simply out-score opponents, and that was also the case in this contest. Not only did the Pacers put up 122 points against a top-flight Boston defense, but the Pacers shot 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range in the second half to finish it off.

From here, the Pacers will take on either the New York Knicks or Milwaukee Bucks in one of the semifinal tilts on Thursday in Las Vegas. In the meantime, Haliburton and the Pacers garnered exposure in front of a national audience on Monday, and the NBA enjoyed a fantastic advertisement for its product with a memorable and exciting win for an up-and-coming team.