Pacers Break Records and Clinch Quarterfinals in Nail-Biting NBA Tournament!



by FARUK IMAMOVIC

Pacers Break Records and Clinch Quarterfinals in Nail-Biting NBA Tournament!
© Getty Images Sport/Tim Nwachukwu

The Indiana Pacers have clinched a spot in the NBA in-season tournament quarterfinals with an exhilarating 157-152 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. This high-scoring game, headlined by Tyrese Haliburton's stellar performance and Buddy Hield's late-game heroics, has set a new benchmark in the league's history.

A Record-Breaking Performance

Tuesday night's game wasn't just a win for the Pacers; it marked a historical moment in the NBA. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, it was only the seventh regulation game in the league where both teams scored at least 150 points.

The Pacers' 157 points set a new franchise record, underscoring their offensive potency. Tyrese Haliburton was at the forefront of this achievement, scoring 37 points with 16 assists. His performance was complemented by Buddy Hield, whose tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute became the game's turning point.

Hield’s critical shot from the left wing broke the 152-all tie with just 52 seconds left on the clock. Reflecting on the victory, Haliburton said, "It is exciting. We are the first team to clinch, and we are ready to go.

We have a few more games before the quarterfinals, so we want to take care of what is in front of us first, but we want to win the championship, of course. It would be awesome."

Pacers’ Resurgence and Future Prospects

This win is particularly significant for the Pacers, who haven't reached the NBA playoffs since the 2019-20 season.

Their 3-0 record in East Group A, with one game left in group play, demonstrates a resurgent team eager to make its mark in this inaugural tournament. Coach Rick Carlisle expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, emphasizing the intensity of the tournament.

"This essentially is a playoff environment," Carlisle noted. "The in-season tournament is getting a lot of buzz. ... This is a real thing. Hats off to the people in New York for coming up with something that, at least to this point, is strong." The Pacers now look forward to the quarterfinals with renewed confidence and determination.

Their record-breaking win not only signifies their offensive capabilities but also marks them as a team to watch in the upcoming stages of the tournament.