Pacers’ Historic Game 7 Victory Advances Them to Eastern Conference Finals

Tyrese Haliburton leads the Pacers with 26 points in a historic Game 7 win over the Knicks, advancing Indiana to the Eastern Conference finals.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 26 points, propelling the Indiana Pacers to a dominant 130-109 victory over the New York Knicks in Game 7 on Sunday. This win marks the Pacers’ first advancement to the Eastern Conference finals in a decade.

The Pacers delivered one of the most remarkable first halves in Game 7 history, hitting 29 of their 38 shots for a staggering 76.3% shooting percentage. This is the highest postseason shooting percentage since 1997, when detailed play-by-play recording began. Leading 70-55 at halftime, the Pacers maintained their momentum, fending off every attempt by the Knicks to close the gap in the second half.

The No. 6-seeded Pacers set an NBA playoff record by shooting 67.1% for the entire game. They now advance to face the top-seeded Boston Celtics, with the series starting on Tuesday. Indiana last reached the conference finals in 2014, where they were defeated by Miami.

Jalen Brunson exited in the second half with a broken left hand, capping off a season plagued by injuries for the Knicks. Although OG Anunoby returned after missing four games with a strained hamstring, he was visibly struggling and played only five minutes.

Also Read: Kobe Bryant: Lifestyle, car collection and luxury items

Pascal Siakam and Andrew Nembhard each contributed 20 points, while Aaron Nesmith went 8-for-8 from the field, adding 19 points for the Pacers.

Despite Donte DiVincenzo’s impressive performance, scoring 39 points and making nine three-pointers, the Knicks couldn’t overcome the absence of key players like Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and Bojan Bogdanovic. Brunson, who had scored 40 or more points five times this postseason, finished with 17 points and nine assists on 6-for-17 shooting. Alec Burks provided a spark off the bench with 26 points.

“Knowing that this team gave its best effort all year long, I can live with the result,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau remarked. “It’s disappointing, but in the end, there’s only going to be one happy team. Twenty-nine teams will fall short. This team fought like crazy and there’s no regret.”

This Game 7 was the third between these franchises, with the Knicks winning in the 1994 Eastern Conference finals and the Pacers taking a narrow 97-95 victory in the 1995 East semifinals. The Pacers showcased the high-powered offense that led the NBA with 123.3 points per game this season.

Also Read: NBA Broadcasting Rights Deal: Who’ll Telecast the Next Chapter?

Indiana exploded with 39 points in the first quarter, the highest in a Game 7 since the play-by-play era began. They made 10 of their first 11 shots and maintained their high shooting percentage throughout the half. Knicks fans, initially full of energy, were soon deflated as the Pacers kept making difficult shots.

The Pacers ended the first quarter up 39-27, shooting 76.2% from the field and 77.8% from three-point range. They extended their lead to 22 points by halftime. The Knicks made a push in the third quarter, starting with a 12-3 run to cut the deficit to 73-67, but three consecutive turnovers allowed the Pacers to rebuild their lead to 84-70.

Josh Hart, playing through an abdominal strain, fouled out with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks. Despite the adversity, the Pacers’ extraordinary performance secured their spot in the Eastern Conference finals.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More