Another game, another win for the enthusiastic Indiana Pacers. On Saturday’s New Year’s Eve matinee, they beat the Los Angeles Clippers 131-130 to take their third straight win and place him fifth in the last six games.
Paul George gave the Clippers a season-high 45 points and Kawhi Leonard added 24 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists for a solid all-around performance, but a balanced 7-point Pacers team. These two points were not sufficient for A player scores at least 9 points and from the field he shoots 52.3%.
Myles Turner led the Pacers with 34 points, but the main storyline of the game was Tyrese Haliburton’s spectacular fourth quarter. The third-year guard has had a great game from the field where he went 8/13 with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 0 turnovers and 4 steals. His 18 of those points came in the fourth quarter when he stepped up to face George and hit what turned out to seal the game.
Trailing 14 points in the first half, the Clippers got back into the game thanks to alternating scoring from George and Leonard from across the floor. When they finally took the lead in the fourth quarter, conventional wisdom suggested they would pull off the stretch and show why they are among the preseason title contenders in the Western Conference.
Halliburton had another idea. Halliburton’s show of offensive prowess, in one of his specific stretches in the final minutes, when he made his shot with George and scored his 12th consecutive point at the Pacers. I had a case. During that run, he made an off-the-dribble 3-pointer, a driving layup, a turnaround in the lane his leaner, and several free throws. The Clippers had no answer for his quickness and ability to get into the teeth of defense.
“Tyreese’s fourth quarter was a monster,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlyle said. “18/4 played just about everything imaginable. It’s really breathtaking.”
Halliburton has been great all season and a prime contender for most improved player, but the last few weeks have been really great. In this 5-1 stretch that included wins over the Celtics, Cavaliers and Clippers, he had 27.3 points, 7.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 54.8% from the field. , three-point his land success rate is 50%. In addition to clutching in the fourth quarter in this game, he recorded his career-high 43 points and his 3-pointer in a game-winning match against the Heat on December 23.
“He’s the basketball-savvy type of guy,” Carlisle said. “People love him, people love him. [Luka] People like Doncic, Reggie Miller feel their time is coming. He is resourceful and finds ways to help our team get the ball in the basket. Sometimes he isn’t him. He can sometimes make plays that lead to buckets and passes that lead to passes, but his will to win is admirable for a young player. … It’s great to see him grow, grow and continue to grow every game. “
With Halliburton leading the way, the Pacers are now 20-17 and three wins away from overhitting.of 22.5. They are also alone in his sixth-place finish in the Eastern Conference, which would guarantee him a playoff spot for the first time since 2020. Not a bad way to head into 2023.