Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Sports / Basketball

Tyrese takes control to crush Celtics

Updated: 2023-12-06 09:56
Share - WeChat
Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton reacts to a basket in front of Boston Celtics guard Derrick White during Monday's NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinal in Indianapolis, Indiana. The host won 122-112. USA TODAY SPORTS/REUTERS CON

INDIANAPOLIS — All that Tyrese Haliburton wanted before the season was to get his first taste of playoff basketball.

Monday night's NBA In-Season Tournament quarterfinal seemed like the perfect dry run.

So the 23-year-old All-Star guard registered the first triple-double of his career, completed a tie-breaking four-point play with 1:33 left and heard the large, raucous crowd chanting "M-V-P! M-V-P!" near the end of Indiana's 122-112 victory, which ousted league-leading Boston from the tourney.

"It means the world to me to represent Indiana and this organization," Haliburton said after acknowledging he struggled to breathe during the first half. "I don't even know if it was as much about what was at stake, as what they did to us the last time. I think that (51-point loss) left a bad taste in our mouths."

This was one felt far sweeter even if he needed a halftime assist from an inhaler.

Haliburton scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half and finished with 13 assists and 10 rebounds. Myles Turner added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and seven Pacers reached double figures as Indiana remained unbeaten in the tourney. The Pacers were 4-0 in group play.

Indiana is the first team to reach the inaugural tourney's semifinal round on Thursday in Las Vegas and will face the winner of Tuesday's game between the New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks.

Boston, meanwhile, heads home despite getting another strong performance from its dynamic duo.

Jayson Tatum had 32 points and 12 rebounds, and Jaylen Brown finished with 30 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. But it wasn't enough to extend a three-game winning streak, with All-Star Kristaps Porzingis missing his fourth straight game because of a strained left calf.

Still, the Celtics fought back from an 11-point third-quarter deficit and managed to force seven fourth-quarter ties — before Haliburton's 3-pointer drew a foul on Brown and ignited Indiana's decisive 9-0 run.

"He played well. The whole team played well," Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said, referring to Haliburton and the Pacers. " (Brown) did the best he could (defensively)."

For the young Pacers, many of whom including Haliburton have never been to the playoffs, this was a different experience. From the towel-waving crowd's chants of "De-fense!" to the heavy media presence, single-elimination fate and festive atmosphere, this felt like a postseason game.

"I haven't heard it like this here in like three or four years, probably since (Victor) Oladipo was here," Turner said. "The energy was just incredible. I think this city really started rallying around this team."

There was a difference between the lines, too.

In this season's first matchup on Nov 1, Boston blew out Indiana 155-104 — posting the second-highest points total in franchise history.

This time, Indiana turned the game in the third quarter, charging back from a 55-48 halftime deficit to tie the score at 71 before pulling out to an 85-74 lead.

Boston finally tied the score at 94 on Brown's 3-pointer with 6:07 left. But after the teams traded baskets for 4 1/2 minutes, Haliburton made the crowd roar again with his big basket.

Agencies Via Xinhua

Most Popular


What's Hot
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349