INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bennedict Mathurin had 19 points and Tyrese Haliburton scored seven of his 15 in the closing six minutes Friday night, rallying the Indiana Pacers to a 108-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Haliburton also had 12 assists. Indiana has won five straight home games and seven of its last nine overall.
Portland was led by Anfernee Simons with 20 points and Damian Lillard with 19 points and eight assists. Jusuf Nurkic added 14 points and 19 rebounds as the Trail Blazers lost for the third time in four games.
Indiana won this one with defense. The Pacers trailed 97-93 midway through the fourth quarter but Haliburton helped fuel the closing 15-2 run that swung the game, and Indiana did not allow a basket over the final 7 1/2 minutes.
Both teams had opportunities to pull away earlier in a back-and-forth game, but they kept trading jabs.
It appeared Indiana’s 11-0 run in the third quarter, which gave the Pacers a 78-70 lead, might be the knockout blow. But the Trail Blazers scored the final seven points of the quarter to take an 82-81 lead and opened the fourth by extending it to 88-83.
They couldn’t hold it. Mathurin tied the score at 93 on a layup with 7:54 to go and, after Portland answered with four straight points, all they could muster over the final six minutes were two free throws from Lillard.
Trail Blazers: Josh Hart fell just short of the first triple-double of his career. He had 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. … Portland had a 52-42 rebounding advantage, which was offset by 18 turnovers. … The Trail Blazers went 9 of 33 on 3-pointers after entering the game tied for the NBA’s third-best 3-point shooting percentage.
Pacers: Myles Turner had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Isaiah Jackson finished with 12 points. … Buddy Hield scored 11 and made two 3s, his 17th consecutive game with multiple 3s. … Backup forward Jalen Smith did not play. … Indiana has won a league-high nine times this season after trailing by double digits.
Trail Blazers: Make their final stop on a three-game trip Sunday at Toronto.
Pacers: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.