NBA regular season

Historic Haliburton explodes for 23-assist game in Pacers’ rout of Knicks


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Historic Haliburton explodes for 23-assist game in Pacers’ rout of Knicks

Dec 30, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) shoots the ball while New York Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo (0) defends in the first quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Indiana Pacers All-Star Tyrese Haliburton erupts for 43 assists in a two-game stretch, joining legends Magic Johnson and John Stockton in the dime-dropping record books

Tyrese Haliburton became the first player in 33 years to post consecutive games with at least 20 points and 20 assists when he led the Indiana Pacers to a 140-126 win over the New York Knicks in Indianapolis on Saturday (Sunday, December 31, Manila time).

Haliburton, who had 21 points and 20 assists in Thursday’s 120-104 win over the Chicago Bulls, finished with 22 points and 23 assists on Saturday.

He is the third player in NBA history to collect at least 20 points and 20 assists in consecutive games, joining Hall of Famers Magic Johnson (December 18-19, 1984) and John Stockton (March 1-3, 1990).

The 23 assists by Haliburton also tied the franchise record, set by Jamaal Tinsley against the Washington Wizards on November 22, 2001.

Myles Turner had 28 points and eight rebounds, while Aaron Nesmith scored 25 points for the Pacers, who have won three straight. Turner and Nesmith combined for 23 points in the third quarter, when Indiana outscored the Knicks 41-30 to take a double-digit lead for good.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 20 points off the bench, and Andrew Nembhard added 14 points.

Donte DiVincenzo scored a career-high 38 points for the Knicks, who ended an 0-3 road trip hours after trading guards RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley as well as a 2024 second-round pick to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for small forward OG Anunoby, forward Precious Achiuwa and guard Malachi Flynn.

Julius Randle had 28 points and 12 rebounds and Josh Hart collected 10 of each for the Knicks, while Jalen Brunson scored 28 points. Evan Fournier, playing for just the second time this season, added 10 points off the bench.

The Knicks opened the game on a 13-4 run before the Pacers ended the first quarter with a 28-14 surge. The teams were tied three times in the second before Indiana carried a 64-62 lead into the half.

The Knicks scored the first five points of the third, but Nesmith, Jalen Smith and Turner hit 3-pointers on consecutive trips for the Pacers, who led by as many as 16 in the third and opened up a pair of 17-point leads in the fourth. –

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