Pacers fans praise Tyrese Haliburton with ‘MVP’ chants in big win over Boston
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers are headed to Las Vegas.
The blue and gold defeated the Boston Celtics on Monday, 122-112, in the quarterfinal round of the NBA’s brand new In-Season Tournament.
The win sends them to the semi-finals of the tournament, held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The biggest reason for the Pacers’ 5-0 record in the NBA’s newest tournament? Pacers star point guard Tyrese Haliburton.
The fourth-year man from Iowa State recorded his first career triple-double on Monday with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists in the quarterfinal win.
Throughout the final moments of the game, MVP chants were raining down from the 16,000-plus in attendance, as Haliburton’s teammate Myles Turner described.
Haliburton finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 13 assists, and his teammate Myles Turner did not doubt that the All-Star point-guard would produce with the game on the line.
“We all have trust in him to go out there and hit them in those big moments,” Turner said. “He never shies away from those big moments either. It’s a testament to who he is, a testament to the hard work he has put in to get to this position. He earned the moment.”
Haliburton is averaging 26.9 points per game this season and a league-high 11.9 assists per contest.
Pacers Head Coach Rick Carlisle was impressed by Haliburton’s performance but promised that there will be many more triple-doubles in the All-Star’s future.
“Some of the shotmaking and the assists were breath-taking,” Carlisle said. “He really is a one-of-a-kind player. His skill level, his connection to his teammates and his leadership, his ability to both give teammates confidence and deliver the ball on-time, on-target, as well as score in the 30’s or 40’s if needed to win a game. Exceedingly special player, and he is learning more and more about the rigors of winning at the highest level.”
Haliburton himself says he is in a great spot in life right now as the face of the Indiana Pacers.
“From the minute I got here, there has been a lot of love from this organization and this fanbase,” Haliburton said. “It really means the world to me to have the opportunity to represent Indiana and represent this storied organization… They put a lot of faith in me in the offseason with my contract, and my teammates [have faith in me] as well. I’ve got to step up to the moment… At the end of the day, I just want to win, and whatever it takes to do that I’m gonna do.”
The Pacers will face the winner of Tuesday’s Bucks vs. Knicks game for the In-Season Tournament semifinals in Las Vegas on Thursday at a time yet to be determined.