Indiana Pacers: Player grades from win over the Golden State Warriors

Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Indiana Pacers outlasted the Golden State Warriors, 125-119, at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday night. After being up 20 points earlier in the game, the Warriors battled back to make it a three-point game with under two minutes left sans the big four of Steph Curry, Thompson, Green, and Wiggins (JaMychal Green masterclass anyone?). Indiana, fortunately, never relinquished the lead and improved to 15-14 on the season.

Here’s how the Pacers performed tonight.

The Indiana Pacers staved off the Golden State Warriors’ late rally

Guard. Indiana Pacers. TYRESE HALIBURTON. A. Haliburton ended with a final line of 29 pts(5-10 3pt shooting), 6 ast, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. He was once again the beating heart of this Pacers team and was constantly making plays, including hitting 3 three pointers in the second quarter to key a huge Pacers run.Whether it was finding his own shot, or creating for others, Haliburton has his fingerprints all over this game. It was great to see him bounce back from a disastrous shooting night against the Heat, and continue his otherwise elite 3 point shooting in the month of December(50% on 7.6 attempts per game)

A. Bennedict Mathurin finished the night with 24 Pts(8-14 shooting), 6 rebounds, and 3 ast. The rookie provided his now expected scoring punch off the bench, and was responsible for keeping the Pacers ahead of the Warriors in the second half of the game, scoring in a variety of ways to keep Indiana on top. Mathurin continues to stake his claim in the rookie of the year race, giving Paolo Banchero a serious run for his money.. Guard. Indiana Pacers. BENNEDICT MATHURIN

Indiana Pacers. MYLES TURNER. A-. Turner, along with Haliburton and Mathurin, were the 3 most crucial players of the night for the Pacers. Turner shot the ball extremely well(8-11 shooting) as well as had what may as well have been the game winning block on Jordan Poole with under a minute in the 4th quarter. Turner continues to string together performances that warrant a career year, making his long-term situation with the Pacers a very interesting conversation. The only real negative to pull from this game was his lack of rebounds(2).. Center

Nembhard had a solid game by his standards(8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists), and had a clutch, tough layup at the end of the game to solidify the win for the Pacers as well. His first half defense on Steph Curry was not the greatest as Curry scored 27 points in the first two frames, but guarding Curry is a tall task for pretty much anybody in the league, so it is nothing to get worried about it. Overall, Nembhard played smart, efficient basketball, but did nothing too spectacular to write home about, unlike his last performance against the Warriors…. Guard. Indiana Pacers. ANDREW NEMBHARD. B-

C+. Hield had a fairly average game(17 pts, 5 rebounds) and shot the ball decently(6-12 from the field, 3-8 from deep). Buddy got buckets when needed to, but otherwise did not do too much else to stand out. Hield also ended the game as a team low -21(+-) in 35 minutes of action.. Guard/Forward. Indiana Pacers. BUDDY HIELD

AARON NESMITH. C. Nesmith was fairly quiet in this one ( 6 points, 3 rebounds, 1 block, 1 assist) and saw only 20 minutes of action, even as a starter. The reason for this could be linked to hot play of Mathurin leaving the Pacers no choice but to play the rookie instead of Nesmith for the majority of the game. Still, the minutes Nesmith played were relatively mistake free(0 turnovers), and he did the little things to contribute to winning, even if it dosen’t show up on the stat sheet.. Forward. Indiana Pacers

Brissett contributed another solid game in his recent stretch of strong play in the month of December. Brissett finished with 11 points on 4 of 8 shooting, and was active on the defensive end with 3 steals as well. Brissett has found his groove recently, piling up multiple double digit scoring performances as the Pacers bench is starting to look like more of a weapon every game.. Forward. Indiana Pacers. OSHAE BRISSETT. B

C. Smith had an up and down game to say the least. While some of his counting stats were fairly good for only 17 minutes of action( 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks), his shooting was questionable in this one, going 2-8 from the field, and taking some head-scratching 3 point shots as well as missing some easy ones around the rim. Smith needs to improve his shooting going forward if he wants a consistent role in the rotation, and his 37.5% field goal percentage in the month of December is not helping matters.. Center/Forward. Indiana Pacers. JALEN SMITH

Indiana Pacers. T.J MCCONNELL. B-. While he did not score a ton, T.J had a solid game as a playmaker off the bench, dishing out 9 assists in 16 min of action. McConnell was actively pushing the pace and keeping the Warriors alert on defense, swinging passes and orchestrating efficient offense for whoever was on the court with him.. Guard

The Indiana Pacers improve to 15-14 on the season with their win over the Warriors, and will look to start a new winning streak as they head to Cleveland Friday to take on the Cavaliers.

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