(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – The Indiana Pacers (4-3) put on historic offensive performance to spoil Victor Wembanyama’s debut in Indianapolis by defeating the San Antonio Spurs (3-4) 152-111.
Slow starts have been a theme occasionally for the Pacers this season, but certainly not tonight. In fact, tonight’s first quarter would be the second highest scoring quarter of the season for Indiana. In large part because they got to the free throw line thirteen times and made all thirteen attempts. Additionally, they made 13 field goals with five of those coming from distance. Tyrese Haliburton and Myles Turner would come out sizzling. Tyrese scored 10 points while dishing out four assists and Myles had 11 points and six rebounds in the first quarter. Indiana’s defense was also solid to start the game. They force the Spurs to shoot 48% with a handful of those makes being contested makes. Finally, Indiana was +7 on the glass. Former Pacer Doug McDermott led the Spurs in scoring with six points. After twelve minutes of basketball, Indiana led San Antonio 44-28.
You could argue the offense in the second quarter was more impressive than the first quarter. They would end up scoring two fewer points, but considering they only made one free throw, it was special. Out of the team’s twelve three-point shots, they would miss three. Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and Andrew Nembhard would each make two triples. Haliburton would pace the team in scoring with 10 points. There wasn’t a big run that the Pacers went on either, it was just a handful of 6-2 runs that allowed the Pacers to extend their lead to a game high 27 points when it was 83-56 in the final minutes of the quarter. After 24-minutes Indiana would lead 86-61. Leading all scorers with 20 points would be Haliburton. Hield (14), Turner (11), and Nesmith (10) would be the other Pacers in double figures. Keldon Johnson (14) and Zach Collins (10) led the Spurs in scoring. Wembanyama had 8 points. The true highlight of the game would come in the second quarter too.
Coming out of the locker room the Indiana Pacers played a little loose…too loose. They would turn the ball over a couple times and would not defend San Antonio well. In fact, Head Coach Rick Carlisle burned a timeout 94-seconds into the game. The Pacers would outscore the Spurs by 13 points the next 6+ minutes. The key player during the stretch where Indiana outscored San Antionio 22-9 run, would be Obi Toppin. The Dayton product would score eight consecutive points that put Indiana ahead 112-76. Toppin would lead the Pacers in scoring in the quarter with 11 points. Bennedict Mathurin played every second and scored 8 points after just 10 minutes in the first half while taking one shot. Bruce Brown was the only Pacer who did not score in the quarter. Indiana’s defense held San Antonio to 2/10 from behind the arc. After 36-minutes, they led 119-87.
With the game at hand entering the final quarter of play, not a single member of the starting lineup stepped onto the floor for the Indiana Pacers. Ben Sheppard, Jarace Walker, T.J. McConnell, Jordan Nwora, and Isaiah Jackson were the five that got most of the minutes. Buddy Hield, Aaron Nesmith, Jalen Smith, and Andrew Nembhard saw just over three minutes of action. Sheppard led all scorers in the quarter with seven points. The one thing that the reserves did, was extend the lead out to 44-points. Indiana would eventually blow out San Antonio 152-111.
TOP PERFORMERS: Tyrese Haliburton (23p, 7a), Obi Toppin (17p), Myles Turner (15p, 11r), Buddy Hield (14p, 4 three’s), and Victor Wembanyama (16p, 10r, 2b). For tonight’s full box score, click here.
NOTES: The 44-point first quarter is the second most points scored in a quarter this season (50 points last game vs Charlotte). Indiana’s 86 first half points ties a franchise record (1990 against Warriors). Indiana’s 152 points ties a franchise record in points in a game (May 1st, 2021, at Oklahoma City). Rick Carlisle became the 14th coach in NBA history with 900+ wins in their coaching career. The win marked the first time since March 20th, 2022, where the Pacers did not trail in the game. Tyrese Haliburton’s five game double-double streak was snapped in the win. Finally, the 38 assists tie a season high (season opener vs Washington Wizards).
NEXT UP: Indiana’s homestand will continue when they take on the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. So far, the Pacers are 2-1 on the homestand and will conclude it on Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Kroger Pregame Show with Pat Boylan will start at 6:30pm eastern on 93.5/107.5 The Fan.
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