Pacers Notes: Haliburton, Nembhard, Nesmith

Pacers star guard Tyrese Haliburton suffered multiple injuries in Indiana’s Game 3 win over the Knicks, but battled through them to finish with 35 points and seven assists. After already dealing with lower back spasms, Haliburton hurt his tailbone and twisted his ankle in the span of a few minutes of game time, Dustin Dopirak of IndyStar writes.

My just overall body right now,” Haliburton said. “I’m hurtin’. But they got guys hurting too. We gotta understand that everybody’s hurting right now. Thank God we got a day in between. I’m young and I’ll heal up and be ready on Sunday.

He’ll likely be on the injury report ahead of Sunday’s Game 4, but coach Rick Carlisle said he’s hopeful Haliburton will be available.

We have more on the Pacers:

  • Haliburton has turned up the aggression for the Pacers after taking just six shots in the opening loss of the series, Dopirak writes. In his past two games, Haliburton is averaging 34.5 points and 8.0 assists while taking 22.5 shots – including 13.5 threes – per game. In his first seven playoff contests, Haliburton only averaged 13.0 shots per game, 8.4 of which were from downtown. He averaged 14.6 points and 9.1 assists in those games.
  • Despite a cold shooting night, Andrew Nembhard came up with one of the biggest plays in franchise history when he launched a three-pointer after a broken play to ultimately give Indiana the victory. Eric Nehm of The Athletic and Dopirak each explore in separate stories how Nembhard’s big shot came to be. “The clock was down, and sometimes, in those situations, it frees you up even more,” Carlisle said of Nembhard’s three-pointer. “And he just laced it.
  • Carlisle moved Aaron Nesmith onto the assignment of guarding Jalen Brunson, Kyle Neddenriep of IndyStar observes. “You can’t give New York a recipe of the same thing over and over again,” Carlisle said. “They are going to adjust. Brunson is too great a player. So, the idea was to change the matchup and get a little more size and Aaron did as good a job as you can possibly do. Brunson is so good. He’s the best scorer in the playoffs, I believe.” Nesmith helped hold Brunson to 26 points (down from his average of 35.6 through his first eight playoff games) on 38.5% shooting (down from 45.7%).
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