Tyrese Haliburton’s first career triple-double came at the perfect time.
Haliburton, thanks to a huge second-half performance, led the Indiana Pacers past the Boston Celtics 122-112 on Monday night in the quarterfinals of the NBA’s in-season tournament. The win pushes the Pacers into the semifinals of the tournament in Las Vegas on Thursday. Haliburton finished with 26 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in the win, adding to his already incredible season.
Things were tight early at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, though the Celtics took a slight lead 55-48 at the break after they closed the second quarter on a 12-2 run. It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Pacers finally flew ahead, thanks to a huge start from Haliburton.
Haliburton either scored or accounted for the Pacers’ first 19 points of the second half. Just like that, the seven-point halftime deficit was gone. The Pacers outscored Boston 37-23 in the third quarter, which suddenly gave them a seven-point lead headed into the final period.
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That lead, though, didn’t hold. The Celtics tied the game again by the midway point of the fourth quarter. But Haliburton finished the job in the final two minutes, and converted an incredible four-point play with a deep 3-pointer that put the Pacers up by four.
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That bucket sparked a 10-4 run for the Pacers, which allowed them to close out the game and seal the 10-point win.
Haliburton shot 10-of-18 from the field and 5-of-11 from behind the arc while grabbing his triple-double. The 23-year-old former Iowa State standout entered Monday night averaging a career-high 27 points and 11.8 assists this season. Buddy Hield finished with 21 points, and Myles Turner added 17 points and 10 rebounds. All five starters finished in double figures, and the Pacers shot better than 47% from the 3-point line.
With the win, the Pacers will now take on either the Milwaukee Bucks or the New York Knicks in the East semifinals on Thursday night in Las Vegas. The Bucks and Knicks will square off in their quarterfinals game on Tuesday.
Brandon Ingram, Pelicans get past Kings
The New Orleans Pelicans will be joining the Pacers in Las Vegas.
After falling down by 15 points in the first quarter, the Pelicans surged ahead late in the opening period and retook the lead almost instantly in the second. From there, they never looked back. The Pelicans held the lead the rest of the way en route to their 10-point win.
Domantas Sabonis led the Kings with his second triple-double of the season. He put up 26 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss while shooting 8-of-12 from the field. De'Aaron Fox added 30 points, but shot just 1-of-7 from behind the arc, and Keegan Murray added 14 points.
Ingram dropped 30 points for the Pelicans, 16 of which came in the second half, and added eight rebounds and six assists. Herb Jones added 23 points, and Jonas Valančiūnas finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.