After only playing 13 minutes, Haliburton left the game as a result of a reported hamstring injury. That said, early reports do not signal any major injury, as he will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
Haliburton was cruising early on as he was 3-for-5 from the field including a three-pointer, six assists and two rebounds. Bennedict Mathurin came up big for the Pacers in his absence.
The backup shooting guard tallied 26 points on 8-of-15 from the floor. He had five three-pointers and five free throws to add to the score. He also had four rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals.
The Pacers will host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night before embarking on their six-game road trip. But who will step up for the Pacers, and how will they carry on their momentum, having won seven of their last eight games?
The first game without Haliburton was early on against the Celtics, where they lost 155-104. Not only did the Pacers get outrebounded by 26 and only made five of their 37 three-point attempts, but no player for Indiana also scored 20 points or more.
The second game without Haliburton was a 144-129 victory at Miami, where Andrew Nembhard had just four points but eleven assists. TJ McConnell was superb, contributing 20 points on 10-for-11 shooting and eleven assists, too.
In the only other game without Haliburton, Nembhard did not play. The Pacers lost 127-109 at Minnesota. McConnell had ten points, six assists, and a pair of steals in their All-Stars' absence.
The Pacers have been fortunate up until now, as they have only played three games without Haliburton (1-2). All three of those contests have been on the road, as well.
Andrew Nembhard has seven starts for the Pacers on the season. He is shooting close to 57% from the field and making half of his three-point attempts in Indiana's last ten games.
In the Pacers' first game of the season, which was against Washington, Nembhard had 12 points and 10 assists off the bench. Perhaps now the Pacers are looking for Nembhard to produce in the starting lineup to help fill the void of Haliburton.
Veteran TJ McConnell, who is in his eighth season in the NBA, can also be called upon to step up for the injured Pacers' captain. McConnell is averaging slightly more than 15 minutes a game while scoring 7.8 points per game (like Nembhard, too).
He is also averaging five assists and one steal a game. McConnell's experience, talent, and efficiency might allow the Pacers to weather the storm until Haliburton returns. It is too early to determine if Indiana's front office will make a move to combat this mishap.
In two weeks, the Pacers will have wrapped up their six-game road trip. They will host the defending champions, the Denver Nuggets, on Tuesday, January 23.
This begins a four-game homestand where Indiana hopes to have a healthy, rested, and fired-up Haliburton back to continue the Pacers' efforts to qualify for the postseason.