(Atlanta, GA) – The Indiana Pacers (8-5 | 3-2) and the Atlanta Hawks (6-7 | 2-5) set historic records in Indiana’s 157-152 win to advance to the knockout round in the in-season tournament.
After a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic, head coach Rick Carlisle would shake things up with the starting lineup. Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Bruce Brown, Aaron Nesmith, and Myles Turner would be the five starters. He moved Obi Toppin and Bennedict Mathurin to the bench. However, the shake up would not change things defensively. The Atlanta Hawks blitzed the Pacers for a 40-point quarter after Indiana scored the first six points of the game. There wasn’t one specific player that was killing the Pacers either. All nine Hawks players that played in the first period scored. Atlanta shot 60.7% from the field, 55.6% from three, and made their only free throw. They had four offensive rebounds that lead to six second chance points. 22 of their 40 points came in the painted area. Indiana would still have a solid quarter offensively with 34 points. Indiana’s leading scorer was Nesmith with eight points.
Unlike the first quarter, there would be one Hawk that the Pacers had no answers for. Off the bench Bogdan Bogdanovic made all five of his shots, two from distance, and three free throws to score 15 points. He wasn’t the only player for Atlanta to score double digits in the quarter. Jalen Johnson (11 points) and Dejounte Murray (10 points) also hit that feat. After surrendering 40 points in the first twelve minutes, the Pacers defense surrendered 46 points! Atlanta shot 64% in the quarter and 55.6% from downtown once again while making nine of their eleven free throw attempts. Once again, Indiana’s offense would keep their deficit manageable with a 39-point second quarter. Haliburton scored eight points, Mathurin scored seven, and Hield chipped in with six. The lead for Atlanta would hit 20 points when they went ahead 78-58 with 3:26 left in the half. Indiana would salvage the half to cut the deficit down to fifteen. Atlanta led Indiana 86-70 at intermission. Bogdanovic led all scorers at halftime with 22 points. Haliburton and Hield tied the Indiana lead with eleven points.
There have been several occasions this season where Haliburton had a quit first half because he was setting up his teammates and then he goes nuclear in the third quarter. Tonight, would be one of those nights. After scoring 11 points and dishing out 10 assists in the first half, he erupted for 26 points in the third quarter. He drained seven of his eight three-point shots and all three of his free throws. He led Indiana to one of their highest scoring quarters (46) in franchise history. He was the only player for the Pacers to score more than six points (Brown and Toppin). Their defense also picked up in terms of intensity. Their on-ball pressure picked up and forced six turnovers for the Hawks. Trae Young was relatively silent in the first half because of Bogdanovic, but he started heating up in the third with eleven points. Atlanta would maintain their 13+ point lead for the first three minutes of the third quarter, but then Haliburton took over. He scored 18 of Indiana’s next 24 points to tie the game at 107 after trailing 97-83. Eventually he would give the Pacers their first lead since the first quarter franchise record tying sixth three in the quarter before drilling his seventh the next possession. After 36-minutes, Indiana led 119-114.
The fourth quarter would have a very similar feeling to the second quarter, except the Pacers were able to stop Atlanta just a few times. The third quarter was dominated by Haliburton, but Trae Young would counter with a splendid fourth quarter. Young poured in 17 points for Atlanta with the only miss coming from the free throw line (6/6, 2/2, and 3/4). For Indiana, Mathurin led the charge to start the quarter and Buddy Hield ended the quarter strong. After Indiana seemed to be on pace to pull away, Atlanta’s offense caught fire with Young leading the way. The only double-digit lead for Indiana came with 9:35 left in the game at 129-119. It was a one possession game just over two minutes later. Atlanta would eventually take the lead back for a moment with 1:32 left after Young knocked down a long two-point shot. Hield then rose to the occasion for Indiana. He closed the game out with the Pacers final eight points, including two contested threes. One of those came after Saddiq Bey tied the game at 152. The veteran guard would put the ball through the hoop one more time as the clock ran out allowing Indiana to win 157-152.
TOP PERFORMERS: For Indiana, Tyrese Haliburton (37p, 16a, 9 triples), Buddy Hield (24p, 6/6 from deep), Obi Toppin (21p, 6a), Bennedict Mathurin (19p), and Aaron Nesmith (17p). For Atlanta, Trae Young (38p, 8a), Dejounte Murray (28p, 5a), Bogdan Bogdanovic (26p), and Jalen Johnson (17p, 7r, 6a). For tonight’s full box score, click here.
- Atlanta’s 86 first half points is the most surrendered in a first half in Pacers history and most points scored in a half in Hawks history
- Tyrese Haliburton’s 26-point third quarter set a franchise record for points in a quarter in a regular season game and the seven threes made in the quarter is a franchise record for triples in a quarter
- Buddy Hield’s 6/6 performance from three ties the franchise record for made threes in a game without a miss (tying Tyrese Haliburton)
- Indiana’s 86 second half points is the most points in the second half in franchise history
- Indiana’s 157 points by the Pacers is a franchise record for points in a game
- The combined 309 points is most in Pacers franchise history (previously was 305 in overtime in 1982 and most in a regulation game was 295)
- Atlanta’s 152 points is the fifth most points surrendered in a game in franchise history. Indiana was 0-36 when allowing 138+ in a game.
NEXT UP: It’s a quick turnaround for the Indiana Pacers. On Wednesday night, the Toronto Raptors come to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to face the Pacers at 7:30pm eastern with the Kroger Pregame Show starting at 7pm with Pat Boylan on 93.5/107.5 The Fan.
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