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The Pacers are motivated to beat the NBA’s best in Las Vegas

The Pacers are motivated to beat the NBA’s best in Las Vegas

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Excitement is building for the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament in Las Vegas.

The Indiana Pacers are one of just four teams remaining in the tournament with a chance to claim not only the first-ever NBA Cup, but also $500,000 per player in prize money.

Indiana is set to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday in the semifinals, and the winner of that game will face either the Los Angeles Lakers or the New Orleans Pelicans in the tournament finals on Saturday.

There is no question that this Pacers team has been fun to watch during its five In-Season Tournament games so far, going a perfect 5-0 in those games.

Pacers All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton has been nearly unstoppable, recording his first career triple-double in the Pacers win over the Boston Celtics on Monday in the quarterfinal round.

Haliburton and the Pacers have found an extra gear when playing with the NBA Cup on the line.

“I look at it as motivation to win,” Haliburton said. “We play in the best league in the world with a bunch of the greatest competitors in the world. I don’t know if people really care what the prize is to be honest. You just want to win because you just want to say you did while others didn’t. I think that matters.”

Meanwhile, his teammate Myles Turner is loving the national stage that the Pacers have thrown themselves onto with success against some of the Eastern Conference’s best teams in the tournament.

“It’s just the stage man,” Turner said. “I think for a team like us that doesn’t play a lot of nationally televised games or in the big media market, this opportunity is second to none. You don’t take it for granted. Given this opportunity to go out and play and play the game at its highest level with the highest peak exposure is fun. We look forward to these types of environments.”

Indiana Head Coach Rick Carlisle agrees with his big man.

“The team is in a great state of mind,” Carlisle said.” A really opportunistic group that is looking forward to this opportunity.”

The opportunity continues at 5 p.m. EST Thursday when the Pacers take on the Bucks at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

News 8 will have coverage from Las Vegas during the entirety of the Pacers’ unique title run.

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