Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton shows Celtics he is the best point guard in east

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images) /

After a must win game in Toronto, the Pacers came in as big underdogs in Boston. The Pacers do not have much room for error with the season winding down either. Jayson Tatum and the Celtics are positioning themselves for the playoffs. Winning in Boston is no easy task, but there was big news before the game for the Pacers…

The Pacers started strong in the first half, trailing 60-55 at the end of the second quarter. The second half would not be as kind to the Pacers, who ended losing 120-95. Does the final score tell the story? Let’s find out.

The Good

The first quarter was a good showing for the Pacers. They were down multiple times by 5 points throughout the quarter, but each time, the Pacers did enough to stop a Celtics run and keep themselves within striking distance. Probably helps when there are plays like this one:

At the end of the quarter, the Pacers trailed 34-32, but we have seen many games like this one when they get blown out of the water in the opening quarter. It was good to see that the Pacers were right in the game after 12 minutes of play in a game that they needed if the play-in tournament is going to become a reality.

The Bad

Halftime sometimes is the worst thing to happen to a basketball team. The Pacers were right in the game going into the half, but the third quarter unraveled on the Blue and Gold quickly. The Celtics had a 5 point lead balloon up to 16 by the end of the third quarter, and after that, it was just too much to overcome.

The Celtics superstars, Tatum and Brown, had 61 points in the game, and they really took down the Pacers in the second half. Perhaps more frustrating tonight was the play of Derrick White, who averages around 12 points a game. Against Indiana, he ended up with 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 9 assists. He was just as big of a difference maker tonight.

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Boom Baby

Tonight’s player of the game was Tyrese Haliburton. The Pacers’ floor general came back from injury and played well. Of course there’s going to be some rust, but Haliburton had his typical explosive step and court vision. Check out this take:

With the lose, the Pacers dropped to 2 games behind Chicago for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. Next up is a game in Atlanta before returning to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for a matchup with the Dallas Mavericks. What is left in the tank for the Pacers season? We are about to find out.