Pacers set NBA playoff shooting mark, torch Knicks in Game 7

Pacers set NBA playoff shooting mark, torch Knicks in Game 7

/ 10:58 AM May 20, 2024

Tyrese Haliburton Pacers beat Knicks Game 7 NBA playoffs

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton reacts during the first half of Game 7 in an NBA basketball second-round playoff series against the New York Knicks, Sunday, May 19, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

NEW YORK — When the Indiana Pacers compiled one of the best offensive seasons in NBA history, they were just getting warmed up.

For Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, they delivered something really spectacular.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 26 points and the Pacers set an NBA playoff record by shooting 67.1% from the field, beating the New York Knicks 130-109 on Sunday to advance to the NBA Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 10 years.

FEATURED STORIES

“We have a historic offense obviously, but this guy got things rolling and everybody kind of just followed suit,” center Myles Turner said, pointing toward Haliburton.

“To do that on the road here in the Garden in Game 7 obviously is phenomenal, but I think this is what we’ve been doing all season long and we were able to show it on the biggest stage.”

READ: NBA: Siakam helps Pacers beat Knicks to extend series to Game 7

The Pacers averaged 123.3 points during the regular season, sixth highest in league history, and set an NBA record by scoring 140 11 times.

ADVERTISEMENT

They haven’t slowed down much in the playoffs.

The Pacers made 29 of their 38 shots in the first half, a shooting percentage of 76.3% that was the highest in the postseason since 1997, when the NBA began keeping detailed play-by-play for all four quarters. They led 70-55 at that point and pulled away every time the Knicks tried to make a run in the second half.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I just told our team when you win a Game 7 in Madison Square Garden, you’ve made history,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said.

The No. 6-seeded Pacers advanced to face top-seeded Boston in a series that begins Tuesday. Indiana last reached the conference finals in 2014, losing to Miami.

READ: NBA: Pacers hope home crowd helps force Game 7 vs Knicks

Jalen Brunson left in the second half with a broken left hand, one final injury for a Knicks team that was decimated by them.

They got OG Anunoby back Sunday after he missed the previous four games with a strained left hamstring, but he clearly wasn’t moving well and was taken out of the game after just five minutes.

Pascal Siakam and Andrew Nembhard each scored 20 points and Aaron Nesmith was 8 for 8 en route to his 19 for the Pacers.

Donte DiVincenzo made nine 3-pointers and scored 39 points for the Knicks, who were trying to reach the conference finals for the first time since 2000 but couldn’t overcome the losses of Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic, before losing Anunoby and finally Brunson.

“Knowing that this team gave its best effort all year long, I can live with the result,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “It’s disappointing, but in the end there’s only going to be one happy team. Twenty-nine teams will fall short. This team fought like crazy and there’s no regret.”

Brunson finished with 17 points and nine assists, shooting 6 for 17 after scoring 40 or more points five times in this postseason. Alec Burks came off the bench for 26 points.

The third Game 7 between the franchises — the Knicks won in the 1994 Eastern Conference finals and the Pacers pulled out a 97-95 victory the next year in the East semifinals — was a chance for the Pacers to prove that their fast-paced style can win at a time when defenses are supposed to rule.

They scored 39 points in the first quarter, the most in a Game 7 in the play-by-play era, a score that would have been more fitting for halftime in the Pacers-Knicks rivalry of the previous century.

“I think it’s just the old-school way of thinking that you can’t play this fast in the playoffs, but I think opportunistically you can do it. I think if we’re able to get stops, of course we can,” said Haliburton, who was wearing a sweatshirt with a picture of Reggie Miller making a choking sign from a playoff game at MSG.

The Pacers made 10 of their first 11 shots — it would have been 11 of 12, but Turner’s dunk attempt bounced back out of the basket — and didn’t slow down much the rest of the half. Knicks fans who were screaming and chanting before the game were groaning during it as the Pacers made shot after shot, no matter how well the Knicks had defended them.

The Pacers led 39-27 after shooting 16 for 21 from the field (76.2%) and 7 for 9 from 3-point range (77.8%) in the first quarter. Indiana then went 13 for 17 (76.5%) in the second quarter, with the lead growing to 22 points.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The Knicks cut it to 70-55 at halftime, then scored the first seven out of the break as part of a 12-3 start to the second half that trimmed it to 73-67. But with the Pacers leading by seven, the Knicks committed three straight turnovers that helped Indiana push the lead to 84-70.

Josh Hart played through an abdominal strain for the Knicks, fouling out with 10 points and eight rebounds.

TAGS: Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.