Tyrese Haliburton led the Indiana Pacers to a 123-117 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. Haliburton's stellar performance, which included 33 points and 10 assists, was highlighted by a crucial go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute of the game.
This standout performance helped Indiana snap a three-game losing streak and secure their first road win since December 7. Haliburton, who went 13 of 21 from the field and 7 of 13 from beyond the arc, expressed the team's determination post-game.
“We felt like this game was kind of a must-win for us,” he said, acknowledging the pressure of getting back to a .500 record.
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle praised the game's competitive nature and his team's resilience, saying, “Just super competitive, tons of actions, a bunch of lead changes -- high-level players out there.
I’m real proud of our guys”.
A Game of Highs and Lows
The game was marked by its intensity, with 15 lead changes and six ties. Alperen Sengun led the Rockets with 30 points and 16 rebounds, coming off a career-high 37 points in Houston’s previous win over New Orleans.
Sengun's effort, along with Fred VanVleet's 18 points and nine assists, kept the Rockets competitive throughout the match. The third quarter saw the Pacers outscore the Rockets 37-23, entering the fourth quarter with a significant lead.
This period was highlighted by Haliburton's three 3-pointers in just two minutes, contributing to a pivotal 12-2 run for Indiana. Despite the Rockets' strong performance in the paint, outscoring Indiana 74-44, the Pacers' prowess from the 3-point line, where they made 19 of 43 attempts, proved decisive.
Houston faced a setback when forward Dillon Brooks exited the game with a right abdominal oblique strain. Meanwhile, Tari Eason's energetic play off the bench, including a breakaway dunk at the end of the first quarter, was a highlight for the Rockets.
The Pacers played without Reggie Bullock Jr. and Bruce Brown, while Obi Toppin contributed seven points off the bench in his 14 minutes on the court.