NBA playoffs

Still no Giannis: Haliburton lifts Pacers over Bucks in OT for 2-1 series edge


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Still no Giannis: Haliburton lifts Pacers over Bucks in OT for 2-1 series edge

GAME HERO. Indiana guard Tyrese Haliburton celebrates during Game 3 of the Pacers' playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Tyrese Haliburton highlights his stellar triple-double performance with a game-winning three-point play in overtime as the Pacers escape a Bucks side missing Giannis Antetokounmpo for the sixth straight game

Tyrese Haliburton converted a three-point play with 1.6 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Indiana Pacers to a 121-118 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference first-round series in Indianapolis on Friday, April 26 (Saturday, April 27, Manila time).

Haliburton gained separation after using a nifty crossover on Patrick Beverley before sinking a shot from the foul line. He added a free throw to complete his 18-point, 16-assist, 10-rebound performance and overcome a scintillating 42-point effort by Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton.

“I just knew I was shooting it,” Haliburton said. “No matter what, I didn’t know what I was going to get to, it was just based off a feel out there.”

“As soon as I saw Patrick kind of turn his head, I just rejected and that opened everything up across the middle and I finally made a sho,” he added. “I couldn’t buy a bucket today, and I’m glad that one went in.”

Myles Turner collected 29 points and 9 rebounds and Pascal Siakam added 17 points and 9 coards to help the sixth-seeded Pacers seize a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series.

Game 4 is Sunday, April 28, in Indianapolis.

Middleton drained a three-pointer to forge a tie at 111-111 with 2.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Middleton was not done, however, as he answered Aaron Nesmith’s corner three by banking home his shot from beyond the arc with 8.0 seconds left in overtime before Haliburton’s heroics.

“He said he felt better as the game went on… now we have to make sure (Damian Lillard) is OK,” Bucks coach Doc Rivers said of Middleton, who was questionable to play in Game 3 because of an ankle injury he suffered in Game 2.

Lillard overcame an apparent left leg injury late in the first quarter to finish with 28 points, 8 assists, and 3 steals. 

“I think it’s his Achilles again, we’ll see,” Rivers said when asked about Lillard’s injury.

Bobby Portis collected 17 points and 18 rebounds for the third-seeded Bucks, who played their sixth straight game without two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (left calf strain).

Rivers was asked about the possibility of Antetokounmpo playing in Game 4.

“Only if he’s healthy,” Rivers said. “We’re not going to rush anyone back. It’s too dangerous.”

Milwaukee erased a 19-point deficit and secured a 93-92 lead after Lillard sank consecutive three-pointers early in the fourth quarter. 

Lillard added four more free throws and Portis sank a three-pointer before Turner responded in kind to level the contest at 104-104 with 4:10 remaining.

Lillard made a driving layup to trim Indiana’s lead to 16-12 before the Pacers ignited a 23-10 run to finish the first quarter. 

Obi Toppin drained a mid-range jumper as part of his 11-point contribution during that sequence.

It could’ve been worse for Milwaukee, which saw Siakam appear to land on Lillard’s left leg while the latter drove to the basket for a layup with 2:32 remaining in the first quarter. 

Lillard immediately clutched at his left knee and limped to the locker room before returning to the court early in the second quarter.


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