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Pacers Struggle Without Tyrese Haliburton and Fall to 0-3 Hole Against Celtics

The Boston Celtics Are One Win Away From Reaching the Finals and the Pacers Are Unlikely to Stop Them

No Hali Means Trouble for Pacers

Pacers star guard Tyrese Haliburton missed Saturday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals and his team lost 114-111 at home against the Celtics. As reported by NBA news outlets, the Celtics came back from 18 points down in the second half. Boston leads the series 3-0..

 

Pacers Struggle Without Tyrese Haliburton and Fall to 0-3 Hole Against Celtics
Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

 

Jayson Tatum had 36 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists for the Celtics, Jaylen Brown finished with 24 points, and Al Horford added 23 points. Andrew Nembhard led the Pacers with 32 points and nine assists, TJ McConnell had 23 points and six assists in 29 minutes off the bench, and Pascal Siakam and Myles Turner added 22 points apiece.

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Haliburton’s Injury

Haliburton suffered a hamstring injury on Thursday’s 126-110 road loss in Game 2, and the NBA rumors were true, he wasn’t able to play on Saturday.

The 24-year-old guard left Game 2 with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter. He limped to the locker room. The Pacers then ruled him out for the rest of the game with left hamstring soreness. He had 10 points, eight assists, and four rebounds in 28 minutes.

The injury took place as Haliburton defended Jayson Tatum. Haliburton moved laterally and took an awkward step and grimaced while stumbling sideways.

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Will Haliburton Return in This Series?

The injury is concerning for the Pacers because Haliburton missed 10 NBA games during the regular season with a left hamstring strain, the same one that he hurt in Game 2.

Haliburton led the NBA with 10.9 assists in the regular season and he was named to the All-NBA Third Team on Wednesday. That accomplishment allows Haliburton to get an additional $41 million on the contract extension he signed last offseason.

The Pacers’ high-octane offense relies on Haliburton’s playmaking. A look at the Tyrese Haliburton stats reveal that he’s had an up-and-down NBA playoffs performance. He’s averaging 18.7 points, 8.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 34.8 minutes over 15 games; however, his scoring has been inconsistent for the Pacers. He’s averaged 21 points in wins compared to 16 points in losses.

With Haliburton out, Nembhard, and backup guards McConnell and Ben Sheppard split the point guard duties, which is far from ideal. Needless to say, the Pacers will need Haliburton to have any chance of avoiding a sweep and come back in this series. Game 4 is on Monday at 8:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

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